April 23 (UPI) -- Two men who died when they were hit by a train in the Brooklyn borough of New York City have been identified as well-known French graffiti artists.
Pierre Audebert, 28, and Julian Blanc, 34, were found dead near the Sutter Ave-Rutland Road station around 7:15 a.m. on Wednesday, WABC reported. Their remains were found in "very bad condition" by the operator of another train.
Police told the New York Daily News that the men were found with French passports and spray paint cans at the scene, near a popular tagging spot at the Utica Avenue subway station.
Audebert and Blanc were well known in the French region of Toulouse and had art projects in Morocco, Italy and Spain, Connexion France reported. Audebert went by the tagger name Full1 while Blanc went by the tag Jibeone.
The artists had been in the United States to help Ceet Fouad, a fellow French-Algerian street artist, film a short documentary interviewing former New York graffiti artists from the 1970s and 1980s, Gothamist reported.
Fouad, considered one of the top urban artists in France, posted a photo with the two Frenchmen to Instagram after their death.
"RIP my brothers, I will love you forever," he said.
Fouad told La Dépêche that he had seen the two artists the evening before their death but hadn't heard from them and assumed they had been arrested.
"When I saw on the news that two people had been hit by a train in the place where they wanted to go, I immediately made the connection," Fouad said. "I thought of them as brothers, I'm totally devastated by what has happened."
Before his death, Blanc posted a "small painting" featuring his Jibeone tag and views of a sunrise in Manhattan. He is survived by a spouse and two children, according to an online fundraiser started by the family to pay for funeral expenses.