Tag Archives: new-york

Something Lurking: The Shadowmen of Richard Hambleton

Richard Hambleton has been called the godfather of street art. He began producing what he called ‘public art’ in New York City in the 1970s.

He’s known for the black figures he first painted on the buildings of New York’s Lower East Side, which he called Shadowmen. The Shadowmen arrived in the early 1980s, and shocked many a denizen of that city who walked the streets at night. In 1981 and 1982 he populated the Lower East Side with these unnerving figures.


A reclusive man, physically gaunt (somewhat creepy-looking himself), Hambleton had undertaken work of a similar bent before. In his Mass Murder project in the late 1970s, he drew crime-scene outlines of dead bodies on the street and had volunteers play homicide victims. Passersby mistook the installations for the aftermaths of real murders.

Both these projects spoke to the zeitgeist, as US urban crime panics shook the nation in those decades. The Shadow men would shock passersby, who often mistook them for shadows of real people, possible assailants. Many people who lived in NYC around that time have stories of the moment they were petrified by a Shadowman and these stories seem to be almost a badge of honour top the artist with a distinctly morbid streak. For Hambleton audience reaction was integral to the artwork itself.

The Shadowmen by Richard Hambleton | Art-Pie
Click to enlarge

He said:

“Other artists put their work on the city, but what I paint on the walls is only part of the picture. The city psychologically completes the rest. People experience my paintings. They aren’t simply exposed to them.”

His art was apparently inspired by the shadows left on the sides of buildings by victims of the atomic blast on Hiroshima. In an age of Cold War anxiety, perhaps his work pointed at the way people’s lives seemed to rest on a knife edge.

The Shadowmen drew in other urban artists, who daubed over the black figures with their own work. Indeed, Hambleton was not a lone wolf. With Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, he was one of a legendary trio of New York artists at the forefront of the street art boom. The three regularly met to discuss their work with one another, and sometimes collaborated.

His work began to pop up all over the globe. Shadowmen even appeared on the Berlin Wall in 1984, when he painted 17 life-size figures on its eastern side. His Shadowman paintings have been documented by photographer Hank O’Neal.

Take a look at the gallery here: http://www.hankonealphoto.com/index.php/the-shadow-man

The Shadowmen by Richard Hambleton | Art-Pie

The Shadowmen by Richard Hambleton | Art-Pie

The Shadowmen by Richard Hambleton | Art-Pie

This article was written by Sally Kirchell, owner of Blue Horizon Prints an Australian online canvas prints company offering cutting edge prints in a wide variety of styles from Street Art to Vintage Prints. They offer free delivery to the UK and Australia and deliver all over the

Metazoa, a new show by ROA

ROA | Art-Pie

Belgium, the country where Roa is from, must be a far away from what this artists get to travel to. I remember seeing a few years back the first street art pieces from ROA across London and thinking: what this guy does is quite fresh.

Now, look what he is up to: a show in New York city at the Jonathan Levine gallery. Nice one.

Then, when I heard about that show, I thought it is going to be the same shit: wildlife subjects, 2 colour artwork (black and white) on some wooden panels which can be manipulated by viewers to reveal the inside of the depicted animals.

ROA | Art-Pie

Guess what? Bang on. However, I noticed that the quality of the paintings is sharper and that the artist uses in a bolder way, the red colour to emphasise the inside of his painted animals.

A friend actually sent me a link to that show and when I said to him, ‘You know what, I am sure I have seen it before’, he replied that accomplished artists have a style of their own, a signature and if people like it, and I am sure you are all like it, why change it. He, like of all us, need to fill his pockets with money so if what he does, sell, then be it.

Point made and agreed. Yes I have seen it before but I would fly to New York right after I finished writing up this post just because seeing ROA’s stuff is always enjoyable and fun.
ROA | Art-Pie

The show runs until the 2nd May 2015.

Lucky enough to live in New-York and actually planning on checking it that show? We would love if you could share your pics and thoughts about it so get in touch today!

What – “Metazoa”, a solo show by ROA
Where – “Jonathan Levine gallery, 529 West 20th Street, Gallery I, New York (USA)
When – until the 2nd May 2015

ROA | Art-Pie

ROA | Art-Pie

ROA | Art-Pie

ROA | Art-Pie

First seen on Mashkulture

Animated 3D gifs by Nick Thomm

Last Thursday night, Nick Thomm’s latests solo exhibition, Tropic Glows, opened.

Thomm took over the entire two-story space, transforming the basement into a fully immersive screening room, in which he housed his intricate 3D video works, while upstairs played host to both the crowds and a combination of Thomm’s mixed media works on fluro Plexiglass, holographic skate decks and neon pieces.

We included below 3 animated GIF works by the artist. We like them very much. Do you?

Nick Thomm | Art-pie

Nick Thomm | Art-pie

Nick Thomm | Art-pie

Exhibition runs until November 18th @ Castle Fitzjohns Gallery. 98 Orchard St, Lower East Side, New York (Open 7 Days, 12PM-7PM).