Kenny Scharf, Kolors


Presenting the latest publication from Standard Press:


Published on the occasion of Scharf's exhibition, Kolors, at Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, (April 4 - May 4, 2013) this publication, produced in collaboration with Damiani and Standard Press, presents the artist's new body of Pop-Surrealist work, which includes monochrome paintings and large-scale sculptures. An in-depth photo essay explores Scharf's eclectic world and daily studio life, while Jeffrey Deitch's text provides an insider's view of the artist's influence in contemporary art.


Scharf’s use of airbrush-like oil and acrylic paint embodies the influence of street culture within contemporary art practices that he helped establish.   Scharf’s inspiration stems from the past, the future, nature, and the cosmic world.  In his sculptures, Scharf makes use of his iconic imagery, freezing expressive cartoon-like faces in curvilinear three-dimensional reflective forms. Scharf presents larger-than-life versions of three seminal characters from his pantheon of cartoon-like creatures. Two sculptures, Squirt and Red Scary Guy, present an embodiment of anger and happiness whereas Totem climbs twelve feet to the ceiling, stacking characters that showcase the duality and interconnectedness of human emotions. 


Kenny Scharf was born in 1958 in Hollywood, California and rose to prominence alongside his friends and contemporaries in the 1980s, most notably, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.  Scharf was a pioneer among artists who integrated street culture into the contemporary art mainstream, incorporating pop and comic imagery in his sculpture, installation and paintings.  His love of popular culture recalls his life-long fascination with television and his early exposure to the medium as a child.   Scharf lived and worked in New York City as a young artist, eager to merge the high and lowbrow, the fantastic and the imaginary.  Scharf ultimately established himself as a master of iconic imagery within the field of contemporary art.  Scharf’s work is included in numerous public and private collections and has been exhibited internationally at museums and institutions including the Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, the Eli Broad Foundation, MOCA Los Angeles and the Stedelijik Museum.   Scharf has continued to pioneer unique projects like his Cosmic Cavern— a black light disco installation that was first exhibited at the 1985 Whitney Biennial and inspired his legendary all-night DayGlo disco party, held in the basement of a Brooklyn warehouse from 2009-2010.  In 2010, Scharf created an expansive outdoor mural on the corner of Houston Street and the Bowery.  He has showcased his unique spray-can paintings on 100 roll-up storefront shutters throughout Manhattan as part of a public art project by the Mediacy Group’s Gatescapes program.  In the spring of 2011, his work was featured in Art in the Streets at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.  Scharf lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and Los Angeles, California. 



Previous Standard Press publications have included, What Me Worry, Andrew KuoNailed, Dzine and Wrinkles of the City, Havana Cuba, JR & Jose Parla.