Kenny Scharf

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LOOKY – Kenny Scharf

About Kenny Scharf

 

Colorful, cartoonish faces and imagined creatures populate Kenny Scharf’s fantastical murals, paintings, sculptures, and installations. On Scharf’s canvases, these figures careen against one another, as well as galactic landscapes and still-life elements such as vases. The artist received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts. He found success in New York’s 1980s East Village art scene alongside Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, with whom he shared a mentor—Andy Warhol. Scharf has exhibited in New York, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, Milan, and Zürich. His work belongs in the collections of The Bass, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Stedelijk Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, among others.

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LOOKY – Kenny Scharf

Kenny Scharf (b. 1958, United States) is a renowned artist affiliated with the 1980’s East Village Art movement in New York. Scharf developed a distinct and uniquely personal artistic style in paintings as well as sculpture, alongside his mentor Andy Warhol, and contemporaries like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring with whom he pioneered contemporary street art. References to popular culture reoccur throughout his works, such as appropriated cartoon characters from the Flintstones and Jetsons, as well as imagined anthropomorphic creatures. Through ecstatic compositions and a dazzling color palette, Scharf presents an immersive viewing experience that is both intimate and fresh. Scharf’s multifaceted practice—spanning painting, sculpture, installation work, murals, performance and fashion—reflects his dedication to the creation of dynamic forms of art that deconstruct existing artistic hierarchies, echoing the philosophy of Pop artists. Yet Scharf’s artistic significance expands beyond the art historical terrain of Pop Art; the artist instead coined the term “Pop Surrealist” to describe his one-of-a-kind practice. His inclusion in the 1985 Whitney Biennial marked the start of his international phenomenon, a reputation that continues to thrive today.

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