Word on the art scene is an up and coming London-based artist working under the pseudonym Rhed is actually Madonna’s oldest son, Rocco Ritchie. Page Six originally dug up the info, and is reporting that his paintings, which feature colorful, Picasso and Gauguin-esque figures, are selling for up to £24,000.
As of now, Ritchie has not confirmed if he is the man behind Rhed, though Too Faced Cosmetics co-founder, Jerrod Blandino seemingly let the news slip when he bought a work from Ritchie and posted about it. “Artists are here to disrupt the peace and this kid is shakin things up,” Blandino wrote on Instagram alongside a photo of Ritchie and the art. “So proud to add this incredible piece to our collection from the uber talented Rocco Ritchie.” While there is no reference to Rhed in the post, the painting does resemble his style of work.
Rhed is currently represented by London’s Tanya Baxter Contemporary Gallery and has already put on two shows with them since 2018. The gallery describes the artist as “the new Basquiat,” saying his paintings “exude an engaging mixture of innocence and confidence” thanks to his “eclectic cultural background” growing up in New York and London. Rhed’s show in July 2020 was attended by both Madonna and Ritchie’s father, Guy, though at the time, it wasn’t mentioned that they were attending their son’s show.
Assuming Rhed is, in fact, Ritchie, his choice to use a fake name is an interesting one. It comes as scores of celebrity offspring continuously use their famous names to promote themselves. Brooklyn Beckham has attempted everything from a photography to cooking with his last name supporting the journey, while others are dipping their toes in acting, modeling, and singing. Of course, those paths are much more visible and make it harder to disguise yourself, and having a surname like Gandolfini, Gerber, or Hawke can only help in the Hollywood scene. Ritchie’s own sister, Lourdes Leon, has been blowing up in the modeling world over the past year, though there’s no hiding the fact that she’s Madonna’s daughter when her face is plastered on a billboard. Ritchie, though, can disappear into a studio, let his gallery take care of any necessary promotion, and allow his work to speak for itself, and it seems like that is exactly his plan.