Kenny Scharf, Elroy Vision, acrylic on canvas, 2012.
Another chapter of the ’50s future that never happened has been added to the ongoing pursuits of this artist. It’s a hyper colored account that leaves the viewer inundated in all the right ways.
Kenny Scharf, Hodgepodge, installation view, 2012.
Magnificent sculptures have been set adrift in the neutral environment. A fully customized Cadillac and grinning mushroom cloud picnic table complete the experience that Scharf establishes on the walls.
Kenny Scharf, Spamarama, oil, acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas, 2012.
The recurrence of marketing symbols and familiar characters comes from the artist’s childhood spent “just inches away” from the then newly established glow of American television. The persistent images overlapped in his young mind and are now recalled in an effluvium of brilliantly collaged compositions.
Kenny Scharf, Spicy, found objects and acrylic, 2012.
Kenny Scharf maintains studios in New York, Los Angeles and Brazil. When in South America, he combs the beaches collecting garbage that has been weathered by the elements. The sun-bleached detritus is known as “lixo” and is also the title of this body of wall hanging sculptures. Great artists are known for working with raw material that are most readily available. Scharf collects his imagery as it washes ashore or gently laps against his retinas.
Kenny Scharf, Cosmic Cavern, mixed media installation, 2012.
Visitors to the gallery will enjoy the black-lit experience of the “Cosmic Cavern.” The first incarnation of the piece dates back to 1981. Known then as the “Cosmic Closet” it was installed in a New York apartment that Scharf shared with Keith Haring. It is a transformative experience that temporarily recalibrates the eyes and forces a magical distortion in perception.
Kenny Scharf, Blablobs, oil on canvas, 2012.
“Hodgepodge” is a journey that is felt strongly when the viewer exits the gallery. Emerging from the space sets a comfort point of nostalgia that leaves an impression akin to homesickness.
14 April – 19 May 2012
Images courtesy of Honor Fraser.