Richard Hambleton exhibition
The Forgotten Shadow Man.

MUCA Hall 2 (UG)

Richard Hambleton – The Godfather of Street Art

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

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Iconen der Urban Art - MUCA

Richard Hambleton – his upbringing

Hambleton was one of the first street artists on the American continent. The interdisciplinary communities of New York City became his creative home as early as the 70s. He frequented the legendary Club 57 with 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: he drew chalk outlines of fake murder victims on pavements around the city, shocking the public with staged crime scenes.

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Rediscovering the shadow men

But with fame came drugs. His heroin addiction in particular accompanied him throughout his life. He lost touch with reality and fell more and more into oblivion. About ten years ago his works were rediscovered and he was able to continue his old successes. Richard Hambleton died at the height of his renaissance at the age of 65. This exhibition is dedicated to his rediscovery and his famous motifs of the shadow men.