Scharf, Kenny

Kenny Scharf, born in Hollywood, California in 1958, first came to artistic prominence in the early 1980s in New York, along with artists Keith Haring and Basquiat. Scharf placed his bright imagery, drawn from television and pop culture, on the streets and in nightclubs of the city, helping to nurture a dynamic and freewheeling scene. Kenny Scharf’s work is instantly recognizable, with idiosyncratic cartoon creatures popping up in the oddest of places: in paintings, on functional objects, or piled up on top of each other to form huge totem poles. Scharf shot to prominence in New York during the 80’s: part of the deeply influential generation of artists that emerged at that time. Scharf calls his art Pop Surrealism: “Surrealism is about the unconscious, and I feel my work is about the unconscious. The images come from the unconscious except that my unconscious is filled with pop imagery. My unconscious is pop, so therefore the art would be Pop-Surrealism. “Scharf is a prolific artist who has worked in many traditional media, including painting, printmaking, drawing and sculpture; he has also designed lifeguard stations, Zippo lighters, watches, cell phones, carpets and carnival carousels. He is currently working on an animated film series in Hollywood. Scharf has exhibited widely, including the Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, Bienalle de Sao Paolo, Brazil, Tony Shafrazi Gallery and Queens Museum of Art, New York, Museum of Contemporary Art, Monterrey, and the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art. His work has been collected by major museums worldwide, such as the Whitney in New York, and the Stedelijk in Amsterdam.

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