RIP King Robbo

After three years in a coma, London graffiti legend Robbo aka King Robbo has passed away. Credited with bringing New York’s subway style of graff to London, his career as a writer ran from the early ’80s, during which time he became known as the self-appointed ‘King’ of the scene.

His legacy might’ve ended there, but Banksy going over Robbo’s famous canal piece from 1985 (picutred above in it’s original state) not only brought Robbo out of retirement, but also saw the two kick-off the most publicised ‘graffiti war’ of all time.

We can’t overlook the positive impact of such a high-profile feud that thrust Robbo back in to the spotlight from 2009. Not just for his own return to the scene, but with the creation of ‘Team Robbo’ and ‘Team Banksy’ the underground heads that had long-respected Robbo’s work were now given a new platform to educate the masses on graffiti history, and most importantly elements to the culture that were suddenly being overlooked in the midst of street-art hype.

You can see a timeline of the feud via LDN Graffiti here:

Without taking sides, it was us looking from the outside in who really benefited over the next two years, with some brilliant pieces going up all around London, a lot of writers stepping up to pledge their tags to either side. In 2011 things reached their premature peak with the release of Channel 4 documentary Graffiti Wars, embedded below and well worth watching.

The same year, just days before his official return to the contemporary art world with a public exhibition in Shoreditch, Robbo was found unconscious at the bottom of a set of stairs. Yesterday, after over three years in a coma, King Robbo passed away.

Saddened to hear the news, especially as he never made piece with some parts of the scene. He never saw the tribute Banksy painted for him, or the official end of the Team Robbo v Team Banksy feud that subsequently ended with both sides offering him respect.

RIP King Robbo.

via Team Robbo
It’s with very great sadness that we have to announce that King Robbo passed away on 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…

Team Robbo – “All the way” – Robbo changed the art world…forever!