On the fourth death anniversary of pioneer street artist Richard Hambleton – dubbed the Godfather of Street Art, Woodbury House – modern-day arthouse, living studio, and key advisor to and distributor of the Richard Hambleton foundation – will be hosting a screening of the award-winning Shadowman, a film about Hambleton’s life and legacy, followed by a talk with fellow artist and friend Nemo Librizzi at Ham Yard Hotel on the 29th October 2021.
In the 1980s, Richard Hambleton was the Shadowman, a spectre in the night who painted hundreds of stunning silhouettes on the walls of lower Manhattan and, along with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, sparked the street art movement.
Oren Jacoby’s film Shadowman plunges the viewer into the chaotic life of Hambleton – by that time a forgotten artist – from his early fame as a painter and resident of the Lower East Side to his struggles with heroin, and his surprising comeback, as street art exploded to become one of the most popular and lucrative art movements in the world.
Before Banksy, there was Hambleton. The 2017 film garnered much critical acclaim, including Audience. Award runner-up at its World Premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival; and Audience Award Nominee at Hot Docs Canadian International Doc Festival 2017.
Nemo Librizzi, whose talk will follow the screening, was the son of art dealer Rick Librizzi, close with Hambleton. Rick had a special relationship (for a dealer) with artists, having begun as one himself; he indeed made and exhibited his work until his death earlier this year.
Librizzi’s move into dealing as a way of putting bread on the table got him deeper into the art world’s moving parts. He not only worked with the heavy-duty collector, Walter Chrysler Jr. (son of the automobile magnate), securing works by John Chamberlain, David Smith, Andy Warhol etc., but he also worked up-and-comers, in particular those in the graffiti world.
He opened a small graffiti gallery on Broome Street, showing some of the younger graffiti artists, such as Hambleton, that have become big names. He said: ‘You have to be a psychiatrist, doctor, and lawyer to deal with those kids. They were all lovely kids, but it wasn’t easy. Nonetheless, it connected me with what was going on in New York.’
The launch of a stunning coffee-table book on Hambleton, published by Woodbury House, will be announced at the screening. The book will be available at the Woodbury House site for £120.