Celebrated for his spooky, pitch-black Rorschach-test monstrosities sporting blown-ink fingers, Richard Hambleton was a formally trained artist — as opposed to a simple graffiti-spreader — who used the streets as his canvas. A founding father of the street art movement of the ‘80s, Hambleton eventually vanished from sight, only to reappear two decades later, homeless and strung out. The artist-as-drug-addict scenario has, tragically, become a staple of both narrative and documentary features. Tragically, not only because of the tremendous number of artists who have passed, but also because of what all these foregone conclusions have done to moviegoing. In all but a few cases (Drugstore Cowboy, Safe, Cocaine Cowboys), you pretty know what to expect from these addiction pics before you pick up a ticket. Appreciation here will no doubt the degree of interest in the artist himself, who died to months prior to the film’s release. (2017) — Scott Marks
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