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Istvan Kantor ‘Hero in Art—The Vanished Traces of Richard Hambleton’

Istvan Kantor ‘Hero in Art—The Vanished Traces of Richard Hambleton’

March 27, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Book Launch

Howl! Happening and Istvan Kantor aka Monty Cantsin aka Amen are pleased to present an
evening celebrating the publication of Hero in Art—The Vanished Traces of Richard
Hambleton. The creator of three unforgettable street art masterworks, Image Mass Murder, I
Only Have Eyes for You, and Shadowman, Richard Hambleton is remembered as a visionary
underground artist, a daring pioneer of urban interventionist art, and a heroic idol of graffiti
artists. A seminal figure in street art, along with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat he was
one of the principal players of the new wave of visual artists that erupted in New York’s early 80s East Village and Lower East Side. Co-published by Howl! Happening and Autonomedia.
Books are available for purchase at the event for $15.

“I painted the town black,” Mr. Hambleton told People magazine in 1984. “[The figures] could represent watchmen or danger or the shadows of a human body after a nuclear holocaust or even my own shadow.”

Richard Hambleton by Curt Hoppe

In his pulp-fiction format personal “bionovel,” author Istvan Kantor—the founder of Neoism and an early friend of Hambleton’s—tells the eventful, inspiring, and often dark story of the street artist and renegade junkie whose shadowy life-size figures loomed on hundreds of walls in New York and cities around the world. Kantor’s own (and sometimes very personal) experiences are added to the recollections of others, fusing a dramatically flowing narrative that illuminates the art and times of the artist—his highs and lows—with honesty, passion, and audacity.

In addition to street art, Hambleton created sublime seascapes and landscapes, as well as a series riffing on the Marlboro man, and explosive paintings of bucking horses and riders. His work has been shown at international exhibits, and his art continues to be widely celebrated. In April 2017, a documentary, Shadowman, following Hambleton’s rise to success and devotion to painting, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

He was surprised how much he enjoyed just standing there and looking at the sky above the cityscape… With towering passion and nervous excitement, he threw a last glance down to the bottom. It was a powerful moment that opened up his fantasy and changed his perceptions. He left reality and flew up into the holy skies of grandeur and hallucinations, into the place he always wanted to be. It was almost like a prophetic experience. Richard was determined to conquer New York City with his art. He gave himself 5 years to accomplish it. —Monte Cantsin

About Istvan Kantor

About Richard Hambleton 

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