Richard Hambleton, often referred to as the “godfather of street art,” pioneered New York’s downtown art scene alongside Jean Michael Basquiat and Keith Hariing. He is best known for his menacing “Shadowmen” and “Horse and Rider” figures—grisly black silhouettes that appear to have been painted mid-explosion. He tagged across the U.S. and Canada before settling in New York in 1979. He tagged Lower Manhattan alleyways through the 1980s, then shifted his attention from the street to the studio, where he made works on canvas and paper. Hambleton showed at the Venice Biennale in the 1980s, yet he was largely forgotten in the ’90s and early 2000s, when his personal battles with illness and addiction alienated him from the art world. Now, Hambleton’s work can now be found in the collections of Brooklyn Museum, the Andy Warhol Museum, and the Moma, among others. At auction, his work regularly sells for six figures.
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