Street Artist Dies After Falling Through Roof While Working on a Piece

Known as 'Tead,' Jordan Vaughn's art enlivened Detroit for the past two decades.

Jordan 'Tead' Vaughn at Inner State Gallery. Image courtesy the gallery.

A beloved Detroit street artist died on Monday, May 1, after suffering a fall while working on a piece at an arts complex.

34-year-old Jordan Vaughn, also known as his graffiti tag “Tead,” was a well-known presence on the streets of Detroit for the past two decades. He also showed his work in galleries, the Detroit Free Press reports.

“You don’t see a lot of graffiti artists who transition out of [graffiti] and make it into an art career,” said Dan Armand, chief creative office and partner for Inner State Gallery and 1xRun Editions, and friend of Vaughn’s.

“He was one of those guys where his stuff was so good, he was always pushing the boundaries and was able to move into the legitimate art world, show his face and make his name as a real artist.”

Tead, <i>Thunderfuct</i>. Image courtesy Inner State Gallery.

Tead, Thunderfuct. Image courtesy Inner State Gallery.

The accident occurred on Sunday at the Make Art Work building, which hosts four artist residency programs, and 45 individual artists, as well as a center for education and recycling called Recycle Here!. Vaughn was climbing to the roof of Recycle Here!, where he had worked many times before, when he suffered the fall on Sunday, April 30.

He was taken to the Henry Ford Hospital, where he remained in critical condition until Monday.

A spokesperson for the hospital told the Detroit Free Press, “the family wants people to know that Vaughn, who had made the decision to be an organ donor, died Monday.”

His family and friends have started a GoFundMe campaign to fund the production of a retrospective book of his work, which has already exceeded its initial $10,000 goal.

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