In the 1980s, Richard Hambleton was the Shadowman, a specter in the night who painted hundreds of startling silhouettes on the walls of lower Manhattan and, along with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, sparked the street art movement.

At the height of his first commercial and critical success, Hambleton was featured in LIFE magazine and acclaimed at the Venice Biennale. Critics revered him as a definitive American Pop-Expressionist artist. But uncomfortable with his own success, he alienated those around him, from art dealers to close friends. And, just as suddenly as he had appeared, he disappeared. After drug addiction and homelessness sent him spinning out of the art scene for 20 years, the Shadowman gets a second chance…but will he take it?

Selected for Tribeca and following a US theatrical release, this acclaimed film plunges the viewer into the chaotic life of a forgotten artist, from early fame as a painter and denizen of the Lower East Side, through his struggles with heroin and his surprising comeback. Featuring rare footage of the 1980s music and art scene and a memorable soundtrack with songs by the bands who were part of the same downtown NY scene as Hambleton in the 1970s (Talking Heads, The Ramones, Blondie, & Suicide), it is also an indelible portrait of New York City from a lost, transformative time. Before Banksy, there was Hambleton.


  • Year: 2017
  • Duration: 81 mins
  • Production: Oren Jacoby
  • Director: Oren Jacoby
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA, ESP
  • Country of production: USA



  • Tribeca 2017 (USA), HotDocs 2017 (Canada), Stockholm International Film festival 2017 (Sweden), Calgary Underground Film Festival 2017 (Canada), Vancouver International Film Festival 2017 (Canada), Virginia Film Festival 2017 (USA), Quebec City Film Festival 2017 (Canada), Anatucket Film festival 2017 (USA), Wakefield Doc Fest 2018 (Canada), Northwest Film Forum 2017 (Seattle, USA), Webster University Film Series (2018), Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Festival 2018 (Chicago, USA), Nuart Aberdeen Festival 2018 (UK), Nuart Norway Festival 2018 (Norway), Salt Spring Film Festival 2018 (Canada), Delai Film Festival 2018 (Moscow, Russia), Festival Internacional Filmes Sobre Arte 2018 (Lisbon ,Portugal), American Film Festival 2018 (Wroclaw, Poland). Grenoble Street Art Movie Fest 2018 (France), The ART Newspaper Russia Film Festival 2018 (Russia), Urban Art Week 2018 (Germany), Sydney Underground Film Festival 2018 (Australia), American Film Festival 2018 (Poland), Urban Eye Film Festival 2018 (Romania)

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