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Art & Culture / Art

Inside the exhibition dedicated to the godfather of street art

Nicknamed the godfather of street art, the late Richard Hambleton will be celebrated this September in the first major gallery exhibition dedicated to the seminal artist since he passed away in October 2017.

Featuring original pieces as well as limited edition prints, such as his renowned ‘Shadowman’ silhouettes which appeared on dark street corners, alleyways and walls across Lower Manhattan in the early 1980s. Memorialising Richard Hambleton’s legacy at the Maddox Gallery, there will also be a special three-day takeover at London’s Leake Street Tunnels from 13-15th September.

One of the first artists using the city as a canvas, he was hailed to be the first street artist to attract the attention of the lucrative art market. Working alongside contemporaries Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Hambleton was one of the few artists at the early forefront of the New York street art movement, and definitely one of the only achieving both commercial and critical success at the time.

Born in Vancouver in 1952, Hambleton studied Fine Art at the Emily Carr School of Art, and practiced professionally in the late 1970s, before taking to the streets of New York. Over his career, Hambleton was twice featured on the cover of LIFE magazine, he founded and became a co-director of Pumps Centre for Alternative Art, a gallery, performance and video space in Vancouver. Sadly, later in his career, the street artist battled drug addiction for 20 years, Hambleton turned his back on the commercial art and alienated both art dealers and friends. Despite his struggle and period of homelessness, Hambleton continued creating conceptual work until his death last year. In 2000 in fact, he was invited to create new work for a major retrospective supported by Giorgio Armani: it was a huge success, touring New York, Milan, Cannes, Moscow and London. Reaffirming his reputation as the original godfather of street art, the artist has been revered as a definitive America Pop-Expressionist artist.

Richard Hambleton: Shadowman runs from 18th September – 2nd October 2018 at the Maddox Gallery, 112 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 5RU and the three-day takeover will run from 13th – 15th September 2018 at Leake Street Arches, London

16 August 2018