Purple Shadow Head, 2014
From an edition of 50
19 7/10 × 50 inches (50 × 127 cm.)
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Richard Hambleton is a Canadian street artist who emerged in the 1980’s New York art scene, alongside iconic figures such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. Hambleton is famous for his ‘Image Mass Murder’, ‘Shadowman’, ‘Malrboro Man’ and ‘Beautiful Paintings’, all revolving around the representation of grim human silhouettes, splashed with black paint on hundreds of public spaces on the street of major cities across the United States, Canada, France, Italy and the United Kingdom. After an artistic absence following his inclusion in the Venice Biennale of 1984 and 1985, the artist’s career revived in 2007 after being the subject of two major solo exhibitions that toured internationally.
Purple Shadow Head is part of Hambleton’s prestigious Shadow Head Portraits series. The piece features the black splattered shadows of two human figures, caught red handed on an exhilarating purple background. As the artist once said as he painted the town black, those figures ‘could represent watchmen or danger or the shadows of a human body after a nuclear holocaust or even my own shadow’.