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. 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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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.

His most famous artworks, however, popped up in New York’s yards and alleyways in the 80s. There, he frightened passers-by with distorted human shadows in black paint. These interventions were soon dubbed the wok of the mysterious ‘Shadowman’. The art scene regards this period as the launch of his career; Hambleton’s paintings were sold at higher prices than those of Basquiat at the time. 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 fall into oblivion. His oeuvre was rediscovered about ten years ago and 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 motif.

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(for students, apprentices, retirees, unemployeed workers and visitors with intermediate disability.)

Entry free for children aged under 12.

For groups of 5 or more persons: Reduced price per person (this applies to regular paying guests). Currently visitor groups are limited to 10 people, registration upfront is required.


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