London graffiti legend ROBBO has passed away. In 2011, the 40-something artist suffered a traumatic brain injury and was put into a medically induced coma by doctors. We’re told he was taken off life support earlier today. His supporters, dubbed Team ROBBO, posted a brief statement on their website:
It’s with very great sadness that we have to announce that Robbo passed away this morning – 31 July 2014, due to health complications.
Peace and respect to Robbo’s close family and friends.. the Crew of Team Robbo and WRH and all his many fans and supporters around the world…
The old school writer, who stood 6-foot-8-inches tall, is said to have hit his first train in 1985, but really made headlines three years later when he did a massive “Merry Christmas” whole train with DRAX WD. According to DRAX, it was a six-car production. Car one said “Merry Christmas to,” cars two through five had the “names of writers and crew names,” and the last car read “from ROBBO & DRAX.”
He eventually retired in the early 90s and virtually disappeared from the scene. But in 2009, ROBBO rocketed back into fame when world famous street artist Banksy painted over and incorporated one of his historic pieces from 1985 — that was partially graffitied — igniting a very public feud that played out on a canal and the streets of London (and elsewhere). The tit for tat exchange produced some witty results as each camp tried to one up each other, creating some amazing outlaw artwork in the process. As local as the battle was, it quickly became larger than the two artists and came to represent the friction between graffiti and street art.
Today, Banksy published a pithy tribute on his website to his former sparring partner: “ROBBO WRH WD PFB – R.I.P.”
(Photo: Team ROBBO)