Lance De Los Reyes, Graffiti Artist ‘RAMBO’ Who Bombed with Shepard Fairey, Dies at 44

Posted on: November 10th, 2021 at 5:05 am by

The vacant lot on Ludlow, May 2016

The graffiti world is mourning the loss of its own this week, as news circulates about the death of RAMBO.

The New York-based artist, born Lance De Los Reyes, passed away last weekend (November 6) at the age of 44. Cause and time of death remains unknown.

Reyes hailed from Texas and attended the San Francisco Art Institute. He is known predominantly for the upside-down crown graffiti – a tribute to Basquiat – and cryptic poems on surfaces across the city.

You’ve no doubt seen his tag around the city, from “smaller” low exposure spots on Ludlow Street to high-in-the-sky tags above the BQE.

Tributes have been accumulating in recent days, both online and in the real world.

Shepard Fairey took to Instagram this week, and noted the history of his collaboration with Reyes, which dates back to their meeting in 1997.

“I met him in San Diego in ‘97 … he was bombing under the name CHIE,” Fairey said. “He came to me at a DIY art event with his wife-eyed unfiltered personality and I was charmed.”

“Lance was the most fun, fearless and spontaneous bombing partner ever,” he continued. “Unfortunately, he was also reckless.”

Fairey also seemed to allude to Reyes’ overall well-being, noting that “Lance had been making his best art ever over the last couple years and I was very happy that he seemed to be in a health groove. I guess it didn’t last.”

Another collaborator, street artist SAYNOSLEEP, was equally moved.

“Lance was passionate when it came expressing himself,” he tells us. I was happy to have kicked it with him, even for the bit that we have had spread out within the past 17 years. He was one of many that inspired me to go all out.”

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