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Richard Hambleton (American/Canadian, b.1954)
LOT ID: 80074
Shadowman, 1986

Acrylic, on Canvas
74 х 48 in. (187.96 x 121.92 cm.)
Lot description
Artwork measures 74 x 48 inches (188 x 121.9 cm).

This piece was once owned by Joey Ramone, lead singer of the seminal godfathers of punk rock, The Ramones. It was held since inception by Arturo Vega, a friend of The Ramones and the band’s artistic director. Vega, a friend of Hambleton and himself a Lower East Side artist who collaborated with the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, received this piece as a gift and reserved it for Joey Ramone. When Ramone passed away on April 15, 2001, Vega stored the piece until it was transferred to its current owner.

Richard Hambleton (b. 1954) is a Canadian painter currently living and working in the Lower East Side of New York City. Hambleton is remembered as one of the major artists, who, along with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, had great success coming out of the New York City art scene in the 1980s. Hambleton’s work is often compared to graffiti art, though Hambleton himself considers this work to be “public art.” Hambleton is best known for his “Mass Murder Concept” and his “Shadowman” paintings. The “Mass Murder Concept” was a series of works where Hambleton would paint the police chalk outline around bodies of volunteer “homicide victims” and splash red paint within the outline, leaving behind a realistic crime scene. His later “Shadowman” paintings of the early 1980s resemble life-sized silhouetted images of strange people. These silhouettes were splashed and brushed with black paint on buildings or other structures across New York City in locations that would startle unsuspecting pedestrians. Hambleton painted these “Shadowmen” in other cities as well, including in Paris and, as some believe, on the Berlin Wall. In 2011, Andy Valmorbida and Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld presented a retrospective of his work in New York, NY. His work was also featured in the seminal 2011 Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA exhibition "Art in the Streets."
Shadowman by Richard Hambleton
  • Shadowman by Richard Hambleton
  • Shadowman by Richard Hambleton
  • Shadowman by Richard Hambleton
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