August 14, 2014  |  Streets

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Despite their longstanding (and highly entertaining) graffiti feud, Banksy has paid public tribute to his fallen artistic adversary King Robbo, who died this summer by altering one of his own existing protected murals in London to read “His Royal Highness King Robbo.”


Robbo, one of the seminal London graffiti artists, emerged on the scene in the 1980s to create work that influenced generations of writers who followed him, and enjoyed legendary status among UK graffiti & street artists until his death in July.

The street battle between the two began in 2009, when Banksy altered Robbo’s last remaining untouched piece in the wild, sparking a thrilling painting battle that persisted until Robbo suffered a head injury in 2011 that put him in a persistent comatose state until his death.

When questioned about the origins of their spat, Robbo attributed their rivalry to a disastrous first meeting in the 1990s, explaining “I was at a place called the Dragon Bar on Old Street. I was introduced to a couple of guys who were like ‘whoa it’s nice to meet you!’. When I was introduced to Banksy, I went ‘Oh yeah I’ve heard of you mate, how you doing?’ and he went ‘well I’ve never heard of you.’ He dismissed me as a nobody, as nothing. So with that I slapped him and went ‘oh what you ain’t heard of me? you won’t forget me now will you?’ and with that he picked up his glasses and ran off.”

In the UK the feud became such a phenomenon that an hourlong Channel 4 documentary on the subject was aired, which can be seen below in its entirety.

RIP Robbo…

Robbo vs. Banksy: Graffiti Wars

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