Richard Hambleton from the Shadows to the Spotlight

Posted on September 30, 2017

Before there was Banksy, or Blek La Rat, or anyone else for that matter there was Richard Hambleton.

Richard Hambleton is a contemporary American-Canadian graffiti artist, sometimes called the “godfather of street art.” Along with his contemporaries Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Hambleton painted on the streets of New York and achieved success during the art boom of the 1980s. 

Most famous for his "Shadowman" paintings of the early 1980s, he painted shadows that resembled a life-sized silhouetted image of some mysterious person, a "splashy shadow figure." These "shadow paintings" were splashed and brushed with black paint on hundreds of buildings and other structures across New York City.  A reclusive artist, Hambleton now lives and works in New York City’s Lower East Side and between the late 80's and the 2000's he hadn't exhibited at all. Now a new intrest and love has been sparked for Hambleton's work with him returning to the spotlight of many projects such as documentaries and exhibitions at renowned galleries and museums such as the MoMa. Vroom &Varossieau is currently working with Richard Hambleton and we want to give you an exclusive look into some projects in this Newspage special. 


World renowned (Street Art) photographer SØREN SOLKÆR flew over to New York to photograph Richard Hambleton in front of his work for his ongoing project SURFACE, that was also presented at Vroom &Varossieau Gallery. 

Hambleton, who is unfortunately very is, is wearing a make shift facial cover because he lost part of his face. Søren captured the illusive and recluse artist in a beautiful and haunting manner. Using a bright, direct light the photographer created a shadow behind the artist, that is larger then him. Referencing Hambleton's famous Shadowman paintings and his nickname as well as perhaps alluding that Hambleton's shadow and work is bigger than himself. 

Richard Hambleton Artist Deck for Vroom &Varossieau x Honey Badger Decks

As you will probably know by following our newsletter, we work together with custom made long board company Honey Badger Decks and create many awesome artist boards with them. We are specially proud to present some first exclusive pictures of the two unique boards Richard made for us. In his signature rugged and unfiltered style with big splashes and broad brush strokes, the boards have a distinct look and each are absolutely one of a kind.

Oren Jacoby's Documentary SHADOWMAN

Tomorrow, on Saturday the 30th of September, Shadowman the documentary will make it's debut at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

The documentary was already well received at it's very first premiere at the Tribecca Film Festival earlier this year. There it was nominated for the Best Documentary Feature as well as the Audience Award, in the latter category it finished in second place.

Photos by: Soren Solkaer, Richard Hambleton, Honey Badger Decks and Oren Jacoby