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July 28 2014

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3 posts tagged "Richard Hambleton"

Braving The World Of Street Art’s Godfather

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“It’s not just about the red dots next to the paintings,” Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld said of the “Sold” stickers that dotted his exhibition, Richard Hambleton New York: The Godfather of Street Art. “It is about coming up with different ways of selling art, of showing it, of communicating art to the public.”

Still, quite handy that a vast majority of the pictures picked by Restoin-Roitfeld and his partner in crime (make that “curation”), Andy Valmorbida, sold quickly at the pop-up exhibition at London’s Old Dairy—after all, nothing can send an electric charge through a crowd, even a starry one like this, like the sound of ka-ching in the air. Certainly, the tills were busy, leading to a very celebratory vibe at the post-show dinner at Q-Forum. The diners included Restoin-Roitfeld’s proud parents, Carine Roitfeld and Christian Restoin, doting girlfriend Giovanna Battaglia, Lapo Elkann, Nick Rhodes, actor Matthew Goode, Caroline Sieber, and, representing la famiglia Armani, who collaborated with VRR and Valmorbida on the exhibition, Roberta Armani.

“My uncle admires Richard Hambleton’s work immensely,” Armani explained, as she geared up to fly to Copenhagen the next day for an Armani store opening. “When Vlad approached us to collaborate with him on this project, we immediately said yes, because in my uncle’s mind, Hambleton is ageless, tireless. He has this energy, and certainly is one of the most inspirational artists alive.”

Inspirational but not necessarily predictable, according to Valmorbida. “Working with Hambleton was an incredible journey—but not for wimps,” he said. “I felt like I had to wear a rubber suit to protect myself from all the syringes that inhabit his world. It’s been wild, but hugely gratifying. We feel incredible now that this show has been such a success. If anyone in the art world deserves it, it is Hambleton.”

Photos: Courtesy of Giorgio Armani

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

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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

Milan, Off The Runways

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Milan fashion week begins in earnest today, but the continuing financial crisis has put something of a damper on the party scene. That should make this February a perfect time to rediscover favorite old haunts. Expect the editors to beeline for the cozy trattoria La Libera—its Bugsy Malone-styled owner, Italo, has already found his way before the Sartorialist’s lens. For aperitivi, there’s the legendary Bar Jamaica. The clientele—largely from the nearby Brera Art Academy—gives it a suitably bohemian atmosphere, but it’s truly infamous for being the site where the Futurist manifesto was plotted. Fashion’s own futurists may find it an appealing watering hole. Anti-bohemians will flock to Armani’s revamped café (pictured) off Via Manzoni for the food and the model-gorgeous wait staff, or maybe just to get a feel for the new Giorgio Armani Hotel that’s due to open directly above it in early 2011. After hours, the fashion week party at Lotvs’ second floor, La Bouche, will draw crowds, but the real night owls will head to Marcello Burlon’s Pink Is Punk party. Why? The guest DJ, Margherita Missoni.

Of course, editors in their off hours are not only eating, drinking, and partying. There are plenty of art exhibitions—funded by the various fashion houses and retailers—going on for a little culture throughout the week. Louis Vuitton’s installation by Sudarshan Shetty, the Ferragamo-sponsored show on Greta Garbo’s style at the Triennale, Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld’s exhibition of Richard Hambleton paintings (courtesy of Armani), and 10 Corso Como’s display of Tim Walker photos will all be on display. They’ll all, of course, be attended by parties to celebrate them—this is fashion week, after all.

Photo: Courtesy of Caffe Armani