Tuesday, March 6, 2007
No More Backfat
When I was last in Brooklyn in early January of this year, Lee, Fenna and I went on a walk around their Windsor Terrace neighborhood. On our walk, I saw graffiti tags on just about every stationary object that said, "Backfat." When I asked Lee about it, she said that the mysterious Backfat had been tagging everything in sight and that the neighborhood listserv was in an uproar. At one point, I counted six tags alone from Lee and Ewald's apartment to the end of the block.
Lee and I tried to envision what this tagger might look like. We thought he would be young, since his tags are not that intricate or unique and some of them are just plain dumb. "Your girl is wack." "The pen ain't shit." We also thought he was short since alot of his tags were on low surfaces.
Lee and Ewald told me that Backfat was probably trying to imitate a well-known graffiti artist, Neck Face, but I don't know. But Backfat's reign has now ended. Charles Abamo, 21, who relocated to Windsor Terrace only a year and half ago from Seattle, was finally caught in mid-January. He was charged with two counts of criminal mischief and scrawling graffiti on a public library and a commercial establishment for which he faces up to four years in jail, if convicted. Since his arrest, many of his tags have been painted over or scribbled out. Backfat's short-lived terror has ended. But I photographed some of his tags on our walk yesterday. We'll miss you, Backfat.
It's funny that when I was researching for information about Backfat, several of the articles ended with a definition of backfat. So, I'll include one here (via NY Daily Times): " Backfat is slang that refers to the rolls of fat caused by an ill-fitting bra, particularly on someone who is overweight."