HOLMBERG: Grafitti tagger’s obsession with the number 7 proves unlucky

Posted at 12:05 AM, Jan 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-11 00:27:34-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--The number seven has proved to be an unlucky obsession for a 22-year-old Richmond resident who has recently been convicted of  two counts of graffiti vandalism and still faces a third charge later this months.

Todd Foglesong, a Clover Hill graduate, restaurant worker, and a talented amateur photographer, will be back in Richmond General District Court on January 25 to face another misdemeanor property damage charge.

His first two convictions led to a few days in jail and community service, plus not quite $200 in fines.

He was caught almost red-handed on December 21 by Richmond police officer Brady McWhirter, who saw the suspect coming from behind a building late at night and found him with spray cans.

A check of the building showed fresh graffiti, “still wet to the touch,” McWhirter said.

The stylized seven can be seen in numerous locations in the city.

It’s mostly the single-color, one-stroke tagger stuff that haunts alleys and buildings throughout Richmond, far from the multicolored of often intricate graffiti that can be considered art. This spraying – the equivalent of a dog marking his territory - can be done in an instant, hit-and-run and so very difficult to catch.

In this reporter’s 30 years of roaming this city, not once have I seen someone doing this kind of tagging.

McWhirter said they got a search warrant for Foglesong’s W. Clay Street residence and found drawings showing the same kind of seven and similar versions. “It was actually on his bedsheet,” McWhirter said. “Kind of odd. He was a little obsessed with the number seven.”

Foglesong’s Tumblr and Facebook sites show a distinct interest in urban exploring, graffiti and rebellion -  and offer a rare glimpse into the thoughts and art of a tagger.

There are artist photos with the word “seven” in them. His site doesn’t indicate what the fascination is with that number.

We went to Foglesong’s house in the city’s Carver neighborhood – where the seven tag can be seen in several places - but he wasn’t home.

His roommate described him as a good person. We didn’t find him at work Wednesday night either and he didn’t respond to a social media request.