Wednesday, November 1, 2017

RIP Richard Hambleton



Richard Hambleton, a street artist who came to prominence in the 1980s East Village, died on Sunday. He was 65. (A cause of death was not mentioned in published reports.)

Here's more from artnet News:

The enigmatic artist burst on the scene alongside a group of confidants and collaborators that included Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Kenny Scharf. Hambleton soon became known for his signature “shadowman” motif, a splotched, black, leering figure that appeared on the walls of buildings in downtown Manhattan.

Just as Hambleton’s career took off he started using drugs, including heroin and crack. He relied on the drugs, particularly the heroin, to reach a mental state that he felt helped him depict the sublime. A long battle with addiction would plague him throughout his life.

Hambleton, who most recently was living in an East Village studio, had enjoyed a revival this year. "Shadowman," Oren Jacoby's documentary about his life and work, debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival back in the spring.



Hambleton's work is also part of "Club 57: Film, Performance and Art in the East Village, 1978-1983," an exhibit that opened yesterday at MoMa.

"Right up to his death he was painting," Kristine Woodward of Woodward Gallery told artnet News. "We'd never known anybody who lived to paint the way Richard did, he was just such a dedicated artist, it's all he cared about, he was not a careerist, he just wanted to paint."

There were many tributes to Hambleton on Twitter...








5 comments:

Gojira said...

I remember those figures, always eerie, compelling, and darkly beautiful. Never knew who did them, but they always added an interesting visual component to the landscape. God, how I miss that New York...

cmrrtyy said...

Loved the guys work. Startling. Ultimately haunting. Twilight art- it lived between the here and now and out there. RIP.

John M said...

I miss that New York, too. The Shadowmen were fantastic, disturbing, amusing, and unforgettable. Miss them.

Anonymous said...

So sad..he was a great artist..rip

Anonymous said...

Deeply sad to learn of his death. I first met him in Vancouver (where he was from) many years ago at the Western Front Art Center (founded by Michael Morris among others). His inability to get control of his addiction robbed us all of the challenge to follow his art.