Tribeca Rider: the iconic Richard Hambleton silkscreen

As a fine art retailer, our passion lies not only in sharing the works of our artists, but also the incredible stories behind them. The new release from our Richard Hambleton collection is taken from his Horse and Rider series, and the original artwork remained in the personal collection of 'the grandfather of street art' for several years before he sold it to a restaurant in Tribeca, New York, in exchange for food.

Originally created in 1985, during the peak of Hambleton's career, the haunting rodeo scene is iconic both because of its role in the tragic downfall of 'Shadowman', and the specialist techniques that have been used to help preserve the traditional silkscreen printing process. Our creative director, Glyn Washington, was personally involved in the creation of the limited edition print, choosing from a selection of canvasses to find the one that most closely mirrored the cotton weave of Hambleton's original painting. Each handmade silkscreen was created by delicately pushing inks through layers of mesh screen, and then proofed by our highly-skilled atelier team to ensure authentic saturation, definition and texture.  

Capturing the frenetic movement of the original work in seven coloured inks, the collectible large-scale print symbolises the lasting legacy of the Canadian-American graffiti artist, who once outsold Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. The contemporary fusion of street art and fine art is faithful to the principles of the artist, who was just as comfortable brandishing his paintings in the filthy subways of New York as at the Venice Biennale. As each silkscreen is finished by hand, every print is inherently unique.

Tribeca Rider

Richard Hambleton

The legacy of Richard Hambleton

Emerging from the shadows of 1980s New York, Hambleton took to subways and alleyways under the cover of nightfall to create his menacing 'shadowmen' figures. Striking fear into the hearts of the city's inhabitants, these dark, twisted forms established him in the art world and the public consciousness, later inspiring graffiti artists including Banksy and Blek le Rat. While his street paintings have long since washed away, his work remains in the permanent collections of the Andy Warhol Museum, Museum of Modern Art and Zellermayer Galerie in Berlin. 

He did not seek critical acclaim, rather he simply wanted to leave those that saw his work in shock and awe. Whilst it is an unavoidable fact that his art was adored, coveted and purchased by collectors, this is not what has formed his legacy. Richard Hambleton was an 'elusive genius', a protagonist and an agitator. He wanted to unsettle the established order, leaving markers of a shadowy presence that evoked self-awareness in every single individual who encountered them. It was this that made him an innovator. 

Instilling fascination, fear and wonder in his audience with a powerful aura of meaning and malevolence, he truly was the 'godfather of street art'. It was his gift to intrigue and unsettle, excite and disarm that left an undeniable, indelible and permanent mark. He emerged from the shadows and changed the game.

Featured art: 'Tribeca Rider', silkscreen on canvas, £9,950. The original painting remained in Hambleton's private collection for several years. 

Featured Artist

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