Graffiti Street Art

A Decade On – King Robbo

Christmas Day 10 years ago the notorious Robbo vs Banksy spat went to another level. Robbo, RIP, headed out very early Christmas morning, crossed the Regents Canal at Camden directly under British Transport Police HQ and painted the perfect riposte to Banksy’s Wallpaperer.

Robbo WD, WRH vs Banksy
25th December 2019 KING ROBBO!

Early that Christmas morning I noticed a photograph on Flickr of Robbo’s new iteration of this piece posted by Robbo’s WRH crew mate Doze. The genius was immediately apparent from that photo. I whizzed straight down to the canal, took some photos and wrote “Banksy vs Robbo WRH, WD – Checkmate” which was up online before Christmas lunch was served. It remains to this day the most read post on Graffoto.

Before Robbo’s Christmas morning adventure, the art on the wall consisted of a workman by Banksy wallpapering over some graffiti, which was actually an ancient Robbo piece.

Banksy wallpaper graffiti
Banksy Wallpaperer, 19th December 2019

For context, Banksy vs Robbo was an intense feud with ancient origins but for roughly a 6 month period it raged spectacularly at several locations along Regents Canal in Camden as each artist attacked the other’s art with a succession of insults.

It’s tongue in cheek, it’s all a laugh, it’s a giggle” Robbo told Graffoto about 10 months later when we met for a beery one on one unpublished interview in his local near Kings Cross.  Robbo also said in reference to the art Banksy was producing at the time “A couple of things I like, the graffiti wallpaper, that was a good piece, so was the global warming, that was a good piece. I appreciate art, I’m an artist. I’m a graffiti artist that’s my main flag but I am an artist“.

Robbo, Pure Evil Gallery Sep 2010
Robbo exhibition opening night, Pure Evil Gallery, Sep 2010

Robbo, Pure Evil Gallery Sep 2010
Robbo exhibition, Pure Evil Gallery, Sep 2010

Robbo mentioned how he didn’t have much to do with social media so his mate put up the photo on Flickr, then early afternoon called Robbo to tell him the piece had already been picked up by a blog. Robbo said some kind and appreciative things about the Graffoto coverage so on the 10th anniversary of that event it is a pleasure to remember that exciting piece of art.

The word “Checkmate” in the title of that Christmas Day blog post was a bit presumptuous, Banksy didn’t let things lie there and neither did Robbo.  Follow the full sequence of evens in the spat below:

Update – check Robbo’s flick, in particular go down to Keen-one’s comments, here.

Old news: Banksy hits Camden

Robbo Trumped Banksy: Banksy vs Robbo WRH, WD – checkmate

Banksy vs Robbo…Did You Think It Was Over?

And The Beef Goes On

Banksy v Robbo: War Continues

Banksy Reparations

2014, sadly..  Robbo RIP

Robbo tribute by Adnate (Mel)

Robbo RIP, Tribute by Adnate (Aus) in Shoreditch. Sep 2014

All photos: Dave Stuart

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