Home Magazine The pre-mature explosion of anonymous artist Rhed

Rhed is a quickly successful anonymous artist. The recent news that Rhed could be the pseudonym of Madonna’s son Rocco Ritchie raised questions and doubts around the artist’s good fortune.

Related articles: Looking For Art: Chapter 9 - Govedarou Art Gallery's cultural intermediation - Rethinking aletheia - What is action painting? 7 unmistakeable action paintings from Jackson Pollock to Action Bronson

With a greatly unfair art market, it is nearly impossible to build a sustainable career. However, the anonymous artist Rhed has been extremely lucky to already have incredible success. 

Having grown up between New York and London, with a strong interest in the arts, cinema and music from a young age, this artist has an interesting background – defined as ‘eclectic’ by Tanya Baxter Contemporary. However, we do not know much more than that.

Completing a post-graduate diploma at Central Saint Martins and having enrolled in the Royal Drawing School in Shoreditch, Rhed’s professional artistic education is in full swing. Looking up to great artists like Lucien Freud, Francis Bacon, David Hockney and Frank Auerback, he is also concerned with the figurative and complexity of the human condition.


Rhed, Madame Bicyclette, n.d., Courtesy of Tanya Baxter Contemporary ©Tanya Baxter Contemporary


He is a young emerging artist, but he already holds a 2018 solo exhibition at the London-based Tanya Baxter Contemporary.

Praised and acclaimed, Rhed was hastily defined the new Basquiat of the Millennial generation, and many agreed. As stated by Tanya Baxter Contemporary, “There was a flair, an excitement in his paintings.” 

The artist’s achievements and anonymity have raised many questions, but recently there has been a major breakthrough. Page Six proudly exposed that they had found out the reason behind this artist’s success, uncovering Rhed to truly be the 21-year-old son of Singer Madonna and ex Director Guy Ritchie, Rocco Ritchie. According to the Daily Mail, the Stars were present at the opening of Rhed’s 2018 debut show - suggesting this connection.

Does he deserve all this attention? Are his paintings really worth the five-figure price tags they have been sold for? Can this artist really talk about the complexity of the human condition? This news has revealed a deceptive clash between success and internal troubles for a mysterious artist which may come from an extremely wealthy background. 


Rhed, Les femme Verte, n.d., Courtesy of Tanya Baxter Contemporary ©Tanya Baxter Contemporary


Responding to Artnet, Baxter stated that “We continue to respect the artist’s prerogative to remain anonymous,” – “much the same way Banksy chooses to keep his identity unknown Rhed will remain incognito.”

The choice to be anonymous probably reflects the artist’s need to detach from quick evaluations, glory or criticism – the other side of fame and fortune which comes from being the son of celebrity stars. Let’s keep it that way, without tarnishing this artist’s work with harsh criticism and quick evaluations - unless Rhed decides to speak up.

Until that day comes, nothing can be known for certain. Nevertheless, this artist is just at the start of a very lucky artistic career. Andy Warhol once stated, “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes” - who knows, what will come next for Rhed/Rocco Ritchie.


Rhed, Solitude, n.d., Courtesy of Tanya Baxter Contemporary ©Tanya Baxter Contemporary


Cover image:  Rhed, Evolution, n.d., Courtesy of Tanya Baxter Contemporary ©Tanya Baxter Contemporary

Written by 


Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.