RIP Jef Campion aka Army of One

Posted by The G on January 18, 2014 under Artsy Fartsy, Encounters with G, Street Art | 12 Comments to Read

Photos by G.  Art by Army of One.

Army of One

Army of One

Details are still hazy as to what has happened, but many street artists have reported the passing of Jef Campion who went by the name Army of One on the streets.  This news has left me extremely sad and devastated.  Jef Campion and I became friendly over the years bonding over our love of art, music, spreading the good word, our same name (though we spell it differently) and it also helped that we lived about 10 blocks away from each other.  I was always running into Jef on the streets be it he himself, or his art which is literally everywhere in both Manhattan and Los Angeles.

Army of One - No More War - LA December 2010

Army of One – No More War – LA December 2010

Jef’s message on the streets was not one of self-promotion like so many street artists tend to do, but instead Jef Campion became a champion to build an army not to fight wars, but to end them.  He pasted Diane Arbus’ iconic “Grenade Boy” image all over the streets to give people pause about why we are fighting wars and when you’d see the boy’s innocent face, you instantly became a member of Jef’s army.

Army Of One - Fountain Art Fair

Army Of One – Fountain Art Fair

Jef wasn’t just a street artist.  He was also a fire fighter and he worked in Manhattan on September 11, 2001, an experience that obviously changed his life.  In addition to spreading positive messages on the streets, he was a huge activist and champion for the Ronald McDonald House, which helps kids that are terminally ill.  We hung out many times and I found Jef to be such a nice guy.  Always up beat, always trying to help others and always generously donating his time for these causes he believed in to his core.

Army of One and Geoffrey Dicker

Army of One and Geoffrey Dicker

He’d give you the shirt off his back if you asked and one particular night, during a blizzard and after many drinks, he invited me to go on a late night mission while he did some tagging.  I loved the fact that he was doing street art dressed in a pin stripe suit!

Jef, my friend, I am wishing my deepest condolences to your family and friends during this horrible time and I will really miss seeing you around.  You were loved deeply on both coasts and your message of love will never die.  Happy trails my friend and fellow Jef.  Rest easy.

If you have any details of what happened or any memorial info, please let us know in the comments section.

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  • Francis said,

    Such kind words. RIP Brother!

  • Gail said,

    This is a very personal, sweet and heartfelt tribute to a fallen soldier of art. RIP Jef Campion.

  • In Memory of Army of One | Fumeroism | Contemporary Art Crossing the Streets said,

    […] – RIP Jef Campion […]

  • Augie said,

    A friend since childhood I’ve followed his artwork over social media I will miss you JC

  • Peter Carozza said,

    The world was a better place with him with us.

  • Irish said,

    You are a true CHAMPION always. Rest in peace brother. Say hello to our brothers for us.

  • Mr. Y.O. said,

    We lost a good man, his work stands as his epitaph. CAMP you are missed. Peace, and our prayers to you and your family.

  • Andrew Siano said,

    You will be missed, never forgotten brother.

    My condolences to his family, friends, Yonkers FD and City of Yonkers.

  • Bernie Riordan said,

    Such a huge lost to all! Hopefully his memory will live on through his art and charity work.
    Arrangements are
    Tues 4-8
    Wed 2-4 & 7-9
    At Whalen and Ball Funeral home 168 Park Avenue yonkers
    Thurs Funeral 10am
    At St Mary’s Church at 103 S broadway in yonkers as well

  • uta brauser said,

    Jef it was a pleasure and an honor working with you and
    With your art, your art activism has touched many,
    Your energy was contagious!
    You left a great visual message, unforgettable.

  • Belinda Kuebler said,

    Jef was such a special person with the biggest heart. We met him while staying at the Ronald McDonald House in NYC. He did so much to help the families at RMH as well as fundraisers for the house. We traveled to NY for 7 years trying to beat cancer and looked forward to those Thursday nights. Great memories and such fun times with him and my Jessie. We went bowling with him in Yonkers and he had his flip flops on. He went to Bon Jovi with me when they were on the Today show/tickets from the hospital. My kids also got to experience Disneyworld with him and all of their great friends from RMH. There is not another Jef. Extremely saddened and my heart goes out to his family and his Yonkers FD Brothers, and of course to RMH. He is with my little angel in heaven and many more he helped along the way.
    Always in our hearts my friend.

  • Michelle said,

    Jef, You were truly a blessing in my life! You are deeply missed. I learned many great things while in your presence. Hope you are taking it easy on a beach in Mexico, Cabo, Todo Santos? Wherever you may be…..Rest easy my friend. Xoxo