Robert Janz, Artist of the Fleeting Image, 1932–2021

Robert Janz, whose shadowy stick figures and reworked commercials added to the streetscape of Decrease Manhattan for greater than a decade, died on October 26, at the age of 89. Though he had some success as a world artist, making kinetic art work, he had gained a loyal following over the previous a number of years, revered by many in the graffiti and road artwork communities for his prolific late-career work, which he created virtually day by day all through his 80s in Tribeca and the surrounding neighborhoods.

 Janz used a large brush to color silhouettes, stick creatures, and mountain peaks on construction-shed boards, constructing doorways, and, particularly, pasted-up poster commercials and billboards. He would additionally rip away and repaste elements of advert posters and switch them into photos of faces, landscapes, flowers, animals, and birds. Janz would remake these advertisements into his personal work (an “ad takeover,” in road artwork parlance), speaking his concepts about consumerism, the atmosphere, and the fleeting nature of doing artwork in the road. He additionally painted on partitions with water, wrote wordplay poems on billboards, and made non permanent sculptures with sticks and metropolis flotsam.

It was a deal with to randomly run into him on the road—to see him in motion. He labored largely by himself, carrying a small sack, a bucket of paint, and some brushes. He wouldn’t hesitate to debate his work and concepts with curious folks strolling by, and he would speak with different artists (virtually at all times youthful than him) who have been moved by his concepts in addition to his relentlessness and perseverance. As he traveled and ripped and painted, he carried himself with a serene perception in his work and creativity.   ❖

You possibly can see some of Janz’s latest work at and a trailer for the 2020 characteristic movie Janz In the Second at

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