‘Army of One’ Anti-War Artist and Firefighter Jef Campion Dies at 52

Posted on: January 21st, 2014 at 6:03 am by
Credit: Jef Campion

Credit: Jef Campion

Somber news to report in the street art world. Jef Campion, known in graf circles as Army of One/jc2, died on Friday. He was 52.

The city firefighter, children’s charity advocate, and anti-war artist reportedly hanged himself in his Yonkers home on Friday, dying at St. Joesph’s Medical Center a short time later.

Campion served as a city fireman since the mid-1980s, and was a first responder on 9/11, spending forty consecutive days at Ground Zero. The experiences forged during this trying time became the inspiration behind his Diane Arbus-inspired Army of One alter-ego. He told us in July 2012 that “nothing made sense to me anymore as a firefighter, let alone as an artist. Trying to return to life as I knew it, I realized the world lost its innocence, and children were being put in harm’s way through erroneous wars, poverty and disease.”

army-of-one-bowery

Army of One on the Bowery, June 2012

But the time at Ground Zero also took its toll on Campion’s health, both mentally and physically. According to Lohud, he hadn’t been able to work for the last six months due to said 9/11-related issues.

We’ll miss seeing the blood-stained “Grenade Boy” around the Lower East Side…

Recent Stories

Uncapped: Beneath the Paint with the Legendary AUDIE U5

This latest installment of Uncapped is more than a year in the making, and we are stoked to have Audie U5 join us. BOWERY BOOGIE: Audie U5. Welcome to the series. Instead of the cherished and/or default “what do you write?” how about, why do you write “Audie?” Audie U5: Always Undeniably Dope In Everything!  Nah, […]

Man Jumped to His Death from Ludlow Street Rooftop

A man jumped to his death from a Lower East Side tenement rooftop Wednesday night. The unidentified man, believed to be in his twenties, took the plunge from atop 175 Ludlow Street at about 11:45pm. The suicide victim reportedly lived alone in a studio apartment there, according to a report in the Daily News. An […]

Here’s a Map Showing How the Lower East Side Voted in the City Council Election Last Week

With more than a week having elapsed since the general election, the above map plots the results of the City Council District 1 race. It was a heated campaign that saw incumbent Margaret Chin fighting for her life against the upstart Christopher Marte. Chin defeated Marte by nearly 3,000 votes to secure a third term […]

Cafe Henrie Shutters on Forsyth Street After 2 Years

Cafe Henrie, the artsy eatery founded by nightlife maven (and street artist) Andre Saraiva on Forsyth Street, closed earlier this week. Thus capping two years on the block. All elements of the establishment are gone, replaced with token brown paper in the windows. In retrospect, the writing was on the wall back in the summertime […]

What’s it Like Living or Working in Hell Square? [SURVEY]

What’s it like to live and work in Hell Square? That’s the question behind the second phase of the Hunter College graduate program study that analyzed public health and safety risk of liquor density on the Lower East Side. No, this isn’t a farce. It’s a legit effort to figure out a way to make […]