Veteran graffiti artist King Robbo dies aged 45

King Robbo artwork Image copyright LDN Graffiti
Image caption The two artists painted over each others' work on Regent's Canal several times

Graffiti artist King Robbo, who rose to prominence in London in the 1980s and notoriously feuded with fellow artist Banksy, has died.

The 45-year-old had been in a vegetative state since 2011 when he was found at the bottom of a flight of stairs with a head injury.

His team paid tribute to him after he died on Thursday, claiming he "changed the art world forever".

Robbo's tit-for-tat feud with Bansky was the subject of a TV documentary.

On Robbo's website, his team wrote: "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!"

Banksy's tribute

King Robbo started tagging trains in London in the 1980s after the practice became popular in New York, though he became less active in the 90s.

A representative from Team Robbo said: "He was known by a lot of underground graffiti writers, old-school writers, the original pioneers."

He added: "He was infectious. Once you'd met him, you'd know that you would have met him."

His notorious feud with Banksy began in 2009 when the Bristol-based artist painted over one of his tags next to Regent's Canal in Camden, which dated from 1985.

Image copyright LDN Graffiti
Image caption Team Robbo painted a new version of the original artwork while the artist was in hospital

London graffiti blogger Joe said it was one of the last authentic pieces from the hey-day of graffiti, which was why Robbo was so angry.

In retaliation, he painted his name over Banksy's artwork - an image of a painter and decorator hanging wallpaper over Robbo's original tag.

The street war continued and the pair painted over each other's work numerous times.

Image copyright LDN Graffiti
Image caption Several artworks by Banksy were painted over by the team

The feud reignited interest in Robbo's work, which he said gave him the impetus to return to the art scene, and an exhibition of his paintings was subsequently held in a London gallery.

Team Robbo said the artist was the self-appointed king of the London graffiti scene in its 1980s.

At 6ft 8in tall, he was an imposing figure on the graffiti scene, his team said.

"He was a bit of a scallywag. However, you do silly things when you're younger, but we're now talking about a 45-year-old man," his team said.

Banksy has paid tribute to Robbo on his website, listing the names of the graffiti crews he was a part of: "Robbo WRH WD PFB - RIP".

Graffiti Wars, a documentary examining the duo's rivalry, was broadcast on Channel 4 in September 2011.

Image copyright LDN Graffiti
Image caption Team Robbo have painted an R on the canal in tribute to the artist

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