My long time friend Stuart Noble was struck by a car and killed while crossing the street in Pasadena Friday night. I will miss him tremendously. I met Stuart in 1999 on my first trip to London. Stuart was a partner in a flyer distribution and promotions company called Don’t Panic! Don’t Panic curated an art poster supplement that was distributed with the flyers. I think their goal was to mix art and commerce. I was offered the Don’t Panic art poster as a means of promoting my London art show, but I had to drive straight from the airport to their offices and work on the art in order to meet their print deadline. Stuart and the rest of the Don’t Panic! crew were very enthusiastic about the design I made. Stuart then offered for me to tag along to put up posters as he drove the Don’t Panic! delivery van around London dropping off flyers. Stuart was on the job, so I wanted to respect his time, but I kept seeing good spots, so I would ask him if we had a second to pull over. The answer was always “yes!” and as he started to understand my modus operandi he would drive out of his way to take me to great spots. Stuart and I bonded intensely while driving all over London. Thanks to Stuart, I poster bombed from Brixton to Camden. Stuart also promoted my art show to his friends and brought a ton of people to the opening. My first London trip was a big success, largely because of Stuart’s support.
Stuart stayed in touch and was always generously promoting Obey Giant to magazines and friends in London. When I was back in London in 2002 he once again took me out to do street art on several intense missions. Stuart visited LA and liked it enough to move to the city in 2005. I was in need of a new poster printer, so Stuart signed on for the job. He would also go on poster missions with me and took the initiative to put posters up on his own as well. Stuart became an Obey ambassador of sorts, talking to property owners about walls for my art. Many of the murals I have done in the downtown LA Arts District were organized by Stuart. Stuart was quite a prolific purveyor of Obey on every front!
Things were not always easy with Stuart. He liked to party and had some issues with addiction. These were not a factor in his death, but could be a factor in his life. I always loved Stuart, and though I wanted to hold him accountable for some of his conduct, I also wanted to support him through tough times he had. Stuart was doing very well recently. He had a lovely girlfriend, Birgitte, and they had just purchased a car and were about to move in together. It is especially sad that Stuart’s life ended right as he was beginning a very positive new chapter.
I’m eternally grateful for Stuart’s friendship and passion for my work. Stuart, thanks for everything… I’ll miss you man!
Rest in peace, Stuart, we’ll miss you!