Before there was Banksy, or Blek La Rat, or Dan Witz, or Ron English there was Richard Hambleton the god father of street art. Hambleton who is best known for his “Shadowman” images that were painted all over New York City in the 1980’s is back with a career spanning exhibition. Although Hambleton ran in the same circles as such legends as Keith Haring & Jean-Michel Basquiat, his elusive nature and battles with addiction kept Hambleton’s from obtaining the same sort of mainstream success. Now Hambleton is back with a new exhibition featuring not just his trademark “Shadowman”, but also several other pieces celebrating different motifs such as his “Marlboro Man”. These dark and beautiful new pieces could quiet easily translate into a well deserved renaissance for this highly influential street art innovator.
Robert Murphy close friend and major collector of Hambleton’s work describes their relationship & his work as:
Robert first met Richard in 1989 at a gallery on Bond Street as the two were discussing a subway work by Keith Haring. Turns out Bob had studied at SVA (School of Visual Arts) while Haring was an undergraduate, along with pals Kenny Scharf, Jed Garret & Rodney Alan Greenblatt. Together they recalled stories about working with these young artists and even how Basquiat would skulk into SVA to use the studios even though he was not a student. A quick friendship was born and through the following decades Murphy was not only a patron of this pioneering street artist but became a savior during numerous times of personal crisis that Hambleton encountered. At times of homelessness, addictions, and health, scares Robert Murphy was there to help provide everything from financial support to ” Marlboro cigarettes & cheese burgers”.
“Street Realism” co-curated by Steven Lowy & Christopher Pusey, will be on display through May 31st, 2017. This show is a must see for any art historian or street art fan in general especially the collaborative work with Staten Island Chris RWK Chillemi. . Highly Recommended!! Viewings are by appointment only. [email protected] for more information.
All Photo’s & Text Copyright 2017 Matthew A. Eller. Follow me on Instagram @ellerlawfirm.