Robert Janz / Artist / Tribute
Robert Janz, whose shadowy stick figures and transformed advertisements added to the streetscape of Lower Manhattan (New York City) for more than a decade, died on October 26, 2021 at the age of 89. Although he had some success as an international artist, he gained a loyal following over the past several years, and was revered by many in the graffiti and street art community for his prolific late-career work, which he created almost daily, throughout his 80s, in Tribeca and the surrounding neighborhoods.
He was a great inspiration to me as well:
It was a treat to randomly run into him on the street—to see him in action. He worked mostly by himself, carrying a small sack, a bucket of paint, and a few brushes. He would not hesitate to discuss his work and ideas with curious people walking by, and he would talk with other artists (almost always younger than him) who were moved by his ideas as well as his relentlessness and perseverance. As he traveled and ripped and painted, he carried himself with a serene belief in his work and creativity.
On January 18, 2022, I installed a tribute to the artist Robert Janz and his work in the neighborhood he spent much of the later part of his life (top).
Noah David Smith also created a a short film in 2021 about Robert Jazz:
It is a bit disappointing to me that there has not been more published acknowledgements of his passing. If you know of others, please let me know here. But I suppose, like his ephemeral art work, his legacy will be in the affect he had on those who knew him and the affect of seeing him and his work on the street. So may his memory be a blessing.