Photos by G. Art by Jef Campion/Army of One.
“Adam and Eve” by Jef Campion aka Army of One
Castle Fitzjohns Gallery in New York is currently paying tribute to one of the art world’s fallen soldiers – Jef Campion aka Army of One. Campion’s most recognizable work as street artist Army of One was a message to give peace a chance, to stop violence and to end all war. On the streets of New York or Los Angeles, you could often see Diane Arbus’ iconic “Grenade Boy” image mashed up with messages of love and peace from Army of One.
Give Peace A Chance!
Jef Campion was more than an artist – he was also a firefighter, who was one of the first respondents in the 9/11 tragedy, and he worked tirelessly with the Ronald McDonald House to help sick children. Though in person Jef was one of the sweetest guys you’d ever want to meet, in private, he battled a lot of inner demons and Jef passed on in early 2014.
This exhibit showcases many pieces that his fans are familiar with, as well as many unseen works that show a completely different side of his art. During his life, he invited me to his studio many times, but our schedules could never coordinate and I am sad that I will never get to speak with him about these great works of art, most of which I was seeing for the first time at this retrospective exhibit.
Ball of Confusion
I’ve known Jef for several years and of course we bonded over having the same name (though different spellings) and we also lived in the same neighborhood, so I’d see him out and about at art functions and of course, his art is all over the streets of Los Angeles and New York, so his presence was always felt. This exhibit is a beautiful and touching tribute to a beautiful man. I hope you go see it. If you can’t make it, at least ponder Jef’s mission statement: Give Peace A Chance! Rest in peace, my friend.
Gone but not forgotten – Army Of One aka Jef Campion.
Castle Fitzjohns Gallery is located at 98 Orchard Street.
Photo by G. Art by Army of One.
Give Peace a Chance by Army Of One
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it must be told. Artist Army of One was arrested in New York on April 14, 2011 and was charged with weapon possession and graffiti. Though he is out on bail, he still faces court dates and all the other rigmarole that comes with being arrested. You can see an interview Jef Campion (aka Army of One) did regarding the situation here. I am literally sick to my stomach with this news. I’ve spent some time with Jef and I have a bunch of things to say.
First off, he is one of the nicest people you’ll EVER meet. He has got such a big heart and though he puts up street art, which can be a legal gray area, he does it not to promote his own brand – he does it to draw attention to the plight of children around the world who are faced with disease and illness. For over 26 years, Jef graciously donates a lot of his free time volunteering for the Ronald McDonald House, which benefits children who are stricken with life threatening illnesses. If that doesn’t paint a more accurate portrait of the real person Campion is, try this on for size – he’s also a firefighter!
Campion spent an extensive amount of time at Ground Zero after the tragedies of 9/11 and if anything, he is a hero, not a criminal. He carries around a gravity knife in the event of an emergency, because he’s a firefighter! Jef couldn’t and wouldn’t hurt a fly so I speak on behalf of the street art community and we DEMAND that all charges against Jef Campion be dropped. The only crime that has been committed is that Jef has had to go through this terrible experience.
Army of One and Geoffrey Dicker
Does this look like the face of a criminal? The answer is NO, because it is not the face of a criminal. Campion has vowed that in the face of this arrest, he will carry on in the name of children in need everywhere. From one Geoff to another Jef, I commend you!
Please spread the word to get these ridculous charges against Jef Campion dropped. Join the Army of One!
Give Peace A Chance!