RAMBO was a legendary graffiti artist whose started his work in the early 2000s. His tags, bubble graffiti, wall poems, billboard work were ubiquitous in New York City. RAMBO, whose real name is Lance De Los Reyes, died on November 4, 2021. He was 44. His death is a tremendous loss for the New York graffiti world.
Tributes to RAMBO have gone up around the city such as this one by SAY NO SLEEP (above) and by an unknown artist (left). The death of a revered graffiti artist, such as RAMBO, will inspire his admirers, friends, and collaborators to put up tributes around the city in the coming days and weeks.
I do not have the proper knowledge to speak about his life and influence on other artists. Instead, I will excerpt a post by Shepard Fairey on his web site about RAMBO:
“…I found out late Thursday night that Lance passed away. It hit me hard. Lance and I have a long history. I met him in San Diego in ’97 when he was maybe 19. He was bombing under the name CHIE and was up in a bunch of ill spots. He came up to me at a DIY art event with his wide-eyed, unfiltered personality, and I was charmed. Lance was both feral and sweet. We started doing street art together in San Diego, LA, San Francisco, and in 2000 I took him to NYC for the first time. He fell in love with the city instantly. We did street art night and day for three days, and I remember Lance literally pounding his fist against the hardwood floor at 4AM on night three when he was fighting against sleep. We napped for two hours and then started bombing again. Eric Elms was with us and can verify this story. Lance was the most fun, fearless, and spontaneous bombing partner ever.”