Rest in Peace. Urbanauth presents you in this article the streetartist and graffiti artists who passed away in 2022. A retrospective of the urban artists who have passed away. From street artist Miss Tic to graffiti artists Full1 & Jibeone and Alain Campos (Banlieue Banlieue) – especially in France, some actors passed away last year, leaving a void in their respective cultural scenes.

Urban art: these streetart artists passed away in 2022

Dijon graffiti tagg "The silent heroes" on old soaking wall in red writing. vandalism urban culture subculture

An artist behind one of the most iconic murals on Berlin’s East Side Gallery passed away in August. Dmitri Vrubel marked the end of an era and the beginning of German reunification with his historic brotherly kiss painting, depicting Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker kissing. The artist, born in Moscow in 1960, died of COVID-19 on August 14, 2022 at the age of 62.

In Salisbury, USA, the death of a homeless artist caused a wave of emotions. Painter Jospeh Heilig, who was known for his drawings and warm character, died in the hospital in May at the age of 65. Little is known about this fellow artist, except that he grew up in the Queensbridge neighborhood on Long Island City in New York and attended art school there before moving to Salisbury – his mother’s birthplace. As a street artist, he enriched the cityscape in his own way over the course of ten years. A crowdfunding initiative was launched for the cost of his funeral.

Montmartre loses a street art legend: MissTic 1956 – 2022

Rest in Peace: The streetart legend MissTic, a female urban artist famous for her poetic stencil  works, has died in 2022. The image shows the artist while an art exhibition in Paris in 2012.
Streetartist Miss Tic in Paris (Moreaupf / CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons / 2012)

In France, the death of street artist Miss Tic caused particular mourning. As a street art legend, she left her mark on the art scene in Paris starting in the 1990s with her stencils – on the street and in the galleries. Her works, which in their composition consisted of the silhouette of MissTic in a red dress and short sentences, combined poetry with sensuality. In the course of her career, she also collaborated with famous brands (Louis Vuitton, Kenzo, …). Her biography is proof of a highly committed artist who, in addition to her street art, participated in exhibitions every year and made a name for herself worldwide. In Paris, she left a mark, especially in the artistic neighborhood of Montmartre of the 18th district, with her iconic works.

Banlieue Banlieue! Rest in Peace: Alain Campos 1955-2022

From the same generation as MissTic and also deceased in 2022 is the artist Alain Campos, who was born in 1955. He received special recognition for his work in the group Banlieue-Banlieue, which started in 1982 to create its own unique style of urban art. The collective, which realized numerous art actions, was distinguished by colorful and expressive productions.

Colorful artwork by Alain Campos, banlieue banlieue wall design Aubergine3000, late urban art street art artist art brut culture art scene France greater Paris area
Artwork by Alain Campos at Aubergine300, an alternative housing project in the Malakoff suburb of Paris, created around 2018. (Urbanauth / VGO / 2023 / Paris)

Alain Campos, a self-taught artist, sought out art students early on despite his aversion to academic art education. Urbanauth was able to contact a relative for the article. Out of the friendship with Antonio Gallego, then a student at the University of Fine Arts in Versailles, was born the collective Banlieue-Banlieue, which for the next decades, with its own style, distinguished itself from the other local actors of street art and graffiti. Besides important solo exhibitions, he also received the highly prestigious Order of Arts and Letters (“Chevalier d’arts et lettres“).

Banlieue Banlieue was in the 90s among the pioneers of the art movement “figuration libre” – as an art form based on the figurative and at the same time free in its representation, the movement stood for a borderless and cross-cultural scene, which acts free of value hierarchies between high and subculture. Between primitive art (art brut), Western influences and impressions from the rest of the world – the artistic expression of Banlieue-Banlieue in its exhibitions and wall designs was accompanied by rock music, which also played a role for the collective.

These graffiti artists and sprayers died in 2022

Dijon graffiti subculture tribute artwork for deceased graffiti sprayer Noshy at the hall of fame legal graffiti wall of Dijon city in France. Urban art and culture Graffiti artist urbanart
Tributes to deceased graffiti sprayers are part of the scene, like in Dijon for the sprayer Noshy (1995-2017). (Urbanauth / Dijon / 2022)

Graffiti as a subculture between anonymity and illegality brings its risks: from breakneck actions, moving trains, to personal problems and healt issues – every year it strikes sprayer of all ages. Discover, in the following, the deceased graffiti artists and sprayers of 2022.

On the tracks of New York: Full1 & Jibeone

A dream of many graffiti sprayers is to paint a subway at the birthplace of contemporary graffiti subculture. That this poses serious risks is understood as part of the “game for fame”. However, in a particularly tragic way, street artist and graffiti sprayer Full1 & Jibeone from France died in New York, in April 2022. Their journey ended on the subway tracks while on a nighttime excursion on the subway tracks. Independent news site TheGothamist interviewed Ceet Fouad, a street artist friend of the two deceased. Both are survived by their widows, with one of them with three children.

Trainwriting and excursions on train tracks are dangerous and can end badly. This was also the case less than two weeks later in a Manhattan subway station. A homeless couple who were on the tracks were hit by a train and died. The MTA, responsible for Metro trains in New York, recorded a 20% increase in illegal track crossings since 2019. In 2021, this caused 68 deaths.

La Rochelle Graffititag Tag Graffiti "4: Kere & Flair2 RIP" verstorbene Graffitisprüher in Newy York aus Frankreich Honorierung durch Subkultur und Freunde mit Wandfreske
Saying Goodbye: “4: Kere & Flair2 RIP”-Tribute at a Graffiti-Jam. (Urbanauth / La Rochelle / 2022)

From North America to Great Britain: Pablo Luna & HALO

Ebenfalls aus Nordamerika, doch dafür aus Phoenix: der Graffiti-Künstler Pablo Luna verstarb mit 52 Jahren an einem Herzinfarkt. Seine Werke prägten das Stadtbild und sorgten für ein hohes Ansehen in der lokalen Kulturszene. Im Zeitungsartikel von Azcentral wird er als witziger und fürsorglicher Familienmensch beschrieben. Außerdem gründete er mit zwei weiteren Graffiti-Künstlern die NG-Crew.

From North America and located in the US-state of Phoenix: graffiti artist Pablo Luna died of a heart attack at the age of 52. His works left their mark on the cityscape and ensured a high reputation in the local cultural scene. In the Azcentral newspaper article, he is described as a funny and caring family man, which founded the NG crew with two other graffiti artists.

Auf der anderen Seite des Atlantiks verstarb der Graffiti-Sprüher Lewis Wayne aka “HALO” verstarb im Mai 2022 mit 25 Jahren. Wie die Seite MyLondon berichtete, wurde ihm in Shoreditch eine Tribut-Wand gemalt. Sein Körper wurde in einem verwesten Zustand aus seiner Wohnung geborgen und sorgte für Schlagzeilen.

Across the Atlantic, graffiti sprayer Lewis Wayne aka “HALO” passed away in May 2022 at the age of 25. As the website MyLondon reported, a tribute wall was painted to him in Shoreditch. His body was recovered from his apartment in a decomposed state and made headlines through local media.

Editorial Note: This article does not guarantee completeness. Do you know of an urban artist who died in 2022? Feel free to write to us for more information.

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