Richard Hambleton June 23rd, 1952 - October 29th, 2017 was an American-Canadian street artist best known for his black-silhouette figure known as the Shadowman and his mass murder scene. Often referred to as the godfather of street art, Hambleton along with his contemporaries Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat painted the streets of New York and achieved great success during the art boom of the 1980’s.
Hambleton studied at the Vancouver School of Art before beginning his image Mass Murder series in 1976. He used to get his friends to lie down outside important buildings and paint white lines around them to mimic the look of chalk outlines used by police during a crime scene investigation.
In 1979 he made New York in the lower east side his permanent home and turned from street to canvas to create incredible works such as his horse and rider inspired by the TV commercials for Marlboro cigarette as well as creating beautiful paintings in the form of landscapes.
Hambleton works have been featured all over the world and is now in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern art in New York, the Brooklyn Museum, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh among others.
In 2017 a film about Hambleton was premiered at the Tribeca film festival which covers his story as well as the New York art scene and his struggles with drug abuse.
Hambleton is and will always be viewed as a pioneer of the street art movement who has inspired so many artists with his work.