riferimento=

Kenny Scharf

Set Descending Direction
per page
Set Descending Direction
per page

Kenny Scharf and the East Village scene

Kenny Scharf was born in Los Angeles in 1958. He later moved to Manhattan and enrolled at the School of Visual Arts New York City where he graduated in 1980. It was during these years that Scharf met artists such as Andy Warhol, who was his mentor, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring and, together with the latter two, participated in the art scene of New York's East Village.

Scharf's artistic production has ranged from painting, sculpture, fashion, video, performance art and street art. The main theme of his artwork is the futuristic promises that were being launched during the 1980s, popular culture, cartoon characters such as the Flintstones and the Jetsons, and also subjects that recall American culture and the middle class, in apocalyptic settings.

"I call it Abstract Pop Surrealism. My style is a dangerous escape from reality. To me it represents the evolution of man, not giving in to the aquarium tout court, not becoming a 'fish in water'. I travelled through the Downtown New York art scene with science fiction and futuristic spaceships. Today, I look at the pop art of the 1950s and 1960s with the same ethereal feeling: a splash of colour, irreverence and a lot of childlike wonder”.

During this period, Scharf also began exhibiting for major galleries such as Fun Gallery and at Tony Shafrazi's, and for the 1985 Whitney Biennial, where Demetria Daniels commented his artwork saying that ... "leaves you with hope, joy, playfulness and optimism, and a sense of love".

This was followed by numerous international exhibitions such as at Galerie Bruno Bischofberger in Zurichor the Akira Ikeda Gallery in Tokyo.

The Cosmic Caverns

Breaking barriers, communication and creation are core concepts in the artwork of Kenny Scharf, who wants to communicate a lifestyle within his works. This is the starting point for the creation of the famous Cosmic Caverns, places where people can immerse themselves and observe the hypercoloured, fluorescent walls of the places he decides to paint.

The first version of the Cosmic Caverns was made in the closet of the New York flat shared with the artist Keith Haring in 1981. After this first experiment, Kenny Scharf transformed basements, galleries, museums, camper vans and suitcases into a psychedelic, multi-sensory experience.

In fact, Kenny Scharf's Cosmic Caverns aims to immerse the viewer in a universe populated by tags, debris, everyday objects, cartoon characters, futuristic and dreamlike environments and bright colours. The surreal world that is thus created comes to life under the black, fluorescent lights, which are reminiscent of American clubs in the 1980s and recall festive environments.

The Pop Surrealism of Scharf

Kenny Scharf has developed a distinct and uniquely personal artistic style in both paintings and sculptures. References to popular culture recur in his artworks, such as the appropriation of cartoon characters from The Flintstones and The Jetsons, as well as imaginary anthropomorphic creatures.

Through various ecstatic compositions and dazzling colours, Scharf presents an engaging visual experience that is both intimate and fresh. To explain his works, the artist coined the term “Pop Surrealist” to describe his unique practice.

The artistic production of Scharf is also characterised by the creation of sculptures. The artist decided to merge tribal art into his sculptures achieving the creation of tribal sculptures, which were first presented during the famous Luna Luna project in 1987 in an event. During the event Scharf, together with Basquiat,Haring, Lichtenstein and Dali, made monumental artworks in dialogue with all the other artists in the exhibition.

The friendship with Jean-Michel Basquiat

His friendship with Jean-Michel Basquiat, whom he met in the underground evenings in the New York of the 1980s, will have a great influence on Scharf during this period. In 1984, he will participate with the African-American artist in the exhibition American Neo Expressionists at The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art.

The return to figurative art allowed Scharf and Basquiat to participate in the exhibition Figuration Libre France/USA, organized in Paris at the ARC Musée d'art moderne, in the catalogue of which Scharftheorized a veritable “religion”, Jetsonism, composed of an alien coded language with tribal symbols that could only be known by the artist and those who decided to join his movement.

It was during these years that Kenny Scharf coined the name of the famous Fun Gallery, an exhibition space directed by Patty Astor in which the first exhibitions of Basquiat, Scharf and Haring were organized. These tribal symbols will forever be depicted by the artist in all the artworks inspired by the animated sitcom The Jetsons.

Kenny Scharf: Artworks for Sale with Prices and Value from Deodato Arte

For those interested in buying artworks by Kenny Scharf, Deodato Arte offers a selection of artworks by the artist for sale online.

If you are interested in knowing Kenny Scharf's prices, value or which works will be on display at the Deodato Arte Contemporary Art Gallery, please contact us by sending an e-mail to [email protected].