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Coming Out Of The Shadows—With A Little Help From Armani


A name like Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld opens a lot of doors. But not, as it turned out, Richard Hambleton’s. “Getting to meet Richard was far from easy,” explains Andy Valmorbida, who, with Restoin-Roitfeld, curated a show of the reclusive New York artist currently on view—thanks to a little help from Giorgio Armani—in Milan. “He turned us away ten times and thought we were lying about everything, including the show, right up until the moment he arrived at the door of the opening.” “We have been really lucky,” Restoin-Roitfeld (pictured left, in front of a Hambleton) says. “Many had tried to get Richard out of hibernation and persuade him to do a show, but he decided to go with us because we never talked about money. For us it was always about the art.” But now that the door’s open, we can expect to see a lot more from Hambleton. The graffiti-esque “Shadowman” paintings—which, during their first brush with fame in the eighties, were considered on a par with the best of Basquiat and Haring—have already traveled from a New York exhibition to the Milanese one, and a large Beijing showing is in the works for fall. Also on the slate: the duo’s next show, of the “godfathers of street art,” for New York fashion week.

Photo: Venturelli / WireImage / Getty Images

Dept. of Culture