Before Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, there was Richard Hambleton. Not unlike today’s Banksy, Hambleton created his singular paintings — black, ghost-like silhouettes plastered on Manhattan’s buildings walls — out of plain sight, earning him a larger-than-life reputation. But in a flash, Hambleton disappeared from the New York City art scene, succumbing to drug abuse and homelessness. Anchored by a wealth of archival footage from ‘80s New York, Shadowman not only revisits Hambleton’s bygone legacy but finds him today, still painting and unrecognised among NYC’s street art legends. For all of its historical intrigue, Oren Jacoby’s riveting documentary is, first and foremost, the story of one man’s redemption as he struggles to preserve both his identity and creative gifts in the face of addiction and personal demons.
“This is a gruesome art-world fairy tale unafraid to face the bitter details of its hero's tumultuous life.”