Robbo vs. Banksy

Last week I came across this awesome story which appeared to be hidden somewhere on Banksy’s website. It’s the visualized story of a ‘battle’ between Robbo, an English underground graffiti artist who painted his first train in 1985, and Banksy a pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter.

In 1985 King Robbo painted a large full colour graffiti piece called Robbo Incorporated on a wall beside Regent’s Canal in Camden, London which was only accessible by water. Over the years it became degraded with a few small pieces of graffiti over the top. In 2009 a stencil artist, allegedly Banksy, covered most of it with a stencil of a workman pasting wallpaper. On Christmas Day 2009 Robbo responded by covering the work so the workman appeared to be painting King Robbo in silver letters. Three days later the letters Fuc appeared before the King. Tit-for-tat overpainting continued at the site with artwork and insults including a picture of Top Cat leaning on a gravestone with the words “R.I.P. Banksy’s career”. This incident led online outrage against Banksy and a graffiti war with many of Banksy’s other works being altered by “Team Robbo”. Notable including the piece Hitchhiker to Anywhere where the “anywhere” was changed to “going nowhere”. On April 2, 2011 King Robbo sustained a life threatening head injury 5 days prior to his exhibition at the Signal Gallery, Shoreditch: ‘Team Robbo – The Sell Out Tour’. It is believed the injury happened as a result of an accidental fall. His recovery has been slow and as of October 2011 he remained in an induced coma. On November 2011, the Camden Robbo mural was painted over with a black and white depiction of the original with the additions of a crown and a can of spray paint with a hazard symbol of a flame above it. It was done by Banksy as a tribute to him and as an effort to end the feud in a sense of “lighting a candle” for Robbo who was still in comatose condition. The mural was restored to its original form with slight changes by the other members of the “Team Robbo” on December 24, 2011, Christmas Eve

1985:

2006:

December 2009:

2 weeks later:

After months of deliberation:

After that:

Then:

July 2010:

Again:

January 2011:

Then:

November 2011:

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About the author

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Houke de Kwant is a frontend developer from the Netherlands and the creator of TheArtHunters (former Daily Inspiration, which was started as part of his study).

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