Richard Hambleton
The forgotten Shadowman

MUCA Hall 2 (Basement)

Richard Hambleton (*23.06.1952 – †29.10.2017) is known reverentially as “The Godfather of Street Art”. As one of the very first street artists, to this day he inspires famous artists like Banksy, Blek le Rat and JR. The Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art (MUCA) is the first museum in Europe to dedicate an exhibition to the pioneering role of the instigator of street art. In honour of the third anniversary of this legendary artist’s death, MUCA will present an exceptional exhibition, “Richard Hambleton – the forgotten Shadowman”.

Hambleton was one of the first street artists on the American continent; New York City was his creative home as early as the 70s. He frequented the legendary Club 57 with, among others, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, and was introduced to Andy Warhol, who repeatedly asked him to sit for a portrait. Hambleton refused, however, seeing himself more as a conceptual artist who wished for his art, not himself, to remain in the foreground. Hambleton’s relentless morbidity manifested itself early on. In his artistic beginnings, he drew chalk outlines of fake murder victims on pavements, shocking the public with staged crime scenes.

His most famous artworks, however, popped up in New York‘s yards and alleyways in the 80s. There, he painted distorted human shadows in black paint, aiming to frighten viewers. These interventions were soon dubbed the wok of the mysterious “Shadowman”. The art scene regards this period as the beginning of his career. At the time, Hambleton’s paintings were sold at higher prices than those of Basquiat. With the fame came the drugs and a heroin addiction that haunted Hambleton throughout his life, causing him to lose his grasp on reality and begin to fall into oblivion. His oeuvre was rediscovered about ten years ago, when he was able to revive his success. Richard Hambleton died aged 65 at the peak of his renaissance. This exhibition is dedicated to his rediscovery and his famous Shadowman motifs.

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Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art (MUCA)
Hotterstrasse 12
80331 Munich/Germany