It’s a warm Tuesday in November, a local French restaurant introduces the artwork of one of the most important artists of the Downtown New York art movement.
Someone whose artwork is currently valued more than contemporaries such as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. A conceptual artist who believes that his projects are truly only complete once people react to them. Influenced by Andy Warhol, and has gone on to influence names such as Banksy and Blek le Rat. A man who splashed red paint over the outlines of “murder victims” across the United States and Canada – and has done so around 620 times.
In collaboration with Nicholas Spree from Woodbury Art Dubai, La Cantine du Faubourg welcomed pieces by Richard Hambleton, the one and only Godfather of Street Art. Giving customers a beautiful insight into the world of street art, the dining spot had continued its out-of-the-ordinary concept – relying on five key principles: sound, music, image, food and art – with their exhibition called ‘The Godfather of Street Art’. Bringing in three never-before-seen original pieces into the restaurant, allowing fans and as well as passersby to revel at the raw and enthralling art.
“We are truly honoured to bring to Dubai for the first time the artwork of such a renowned figure in the pop expressionist movement”, says Rizwan Kassim, co-owner of La Cantine du Faubourg, Dubai. On the 16th of November, La Cantine du Faubourg had also introduced ten of Richard Hambleton’s limited editions, with three original acrylic on canvas pieces, reminding viewers of the vulnerability and intensity of human life.
Hambleton had an enormous amount of success coming out of the New York City art scene during the booming art market of the 1980s. Quoting his work, Hambleton believes that “What makes them exciting is the power of the viewer’s imagination- that split second experience when you see the figures, that matter” – spoken like a true artist.
Best known for his “Mass Murder Concept” and “Shadowman” paintings, Hambleton’s work is mostly compared to graffiti art, but he considers them to be “public art” and usually displayed them in dark alleys or street corners, in order to startle unsuspecting pedestrians.
His “Shadowman” paintings resembled life-sized silhouetted images of mysterious people, a sort of “splashy shadow figure”. These were splashed and brushed with black paint on hundreds of buildings and other structures across New York City. Hambleton took these projects with him to Paris, London and Rome – and even painted 17 life-size figures on the East side of the Berlin Wall. According to Hambleton, “They could represent watchmen or danger of the shadows of a human body after a nuclear holocaust, or even my own shadow”.
End the year on a delectable note at La Cantine du Faubourg. Order some bubbly, gather some friends and admire the godfather of street art. From the streets of New York to DIFC.