RICHARD HAMBLETON

RICHARD HAMBLETON

Richard Hambleton, referred to as the “godfather of street art,” was a pioneering Canadian street artist. He is recognized as a pivotal intermediary between Abstract Expressionism and the popular “art for the masses” graffiti that boomed in the 1980s. Hambleton is best known for his grisly “Shadowmen” and “Horse and Rider” figures, which he tagged in alleyways and drug-dealing hotspots in Lower Manhattan throughout the 1970s and ’80s. Despite finding early success in New York and showing at the Venice Biennale in 1984 and ’88, Hambleton was largely forgotten in the ’90s and early 2000s, when his personal battles with addiction alienated him from the art world. Hambleton’s work saw a resurgence in the 2010s, with solo shows, major museum retrospectives, and documentaries taking a new look at the seminal role he played in the history of street art.

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