A Different Drummer
The mop globbed and smeared paint on the tile as Theo signed his name to his latest piece. Though his primary medium was rusto & stencil, his signature was always acrylic; in thirty minutes one square block of campaign posters (covering the ubiquitous “post no bills” signs, naturally) were transformed to resemble a variety of left- and right-wing authoritarian propaganda. Theo was an all-city king, a graffiti artist whose work was known and respected throughout the five-boroughs, even though nobody had ever met him or at least knew they had met him. His tag was Trolleo, drawn in such a way that the letters formed a smiling face: an upside-down “T” formed the smile, an “r” outlined a monocle, the “o”s made the eyes, and the “lle” shaped a nose. Years earlier, when one of his pieces got widespread attention (a punition of “drones are good” over another series of campaign posters) nobody could translate his tag so he had to – embarrassingly – have an “epiphany” while staring at it among other writers and hope they didn’t surmise that he was the artist.