Covid Life, it is now a thing. I’ve been working from home for two weeks already and I’ve fallen into a daily routine of taking a walk after lunch in the most isolated areas I can find, just to get exercise and prevent (delay) the onset of Cabin Fever. It cheered me immensely to discover this colorful mural by Kenny Sharf, populated with his trademark whimsical faces. Since I’ve been exploring new turf more than usual, I see his stuff all over doorways and gates. Who knows how long this has been here?
Spotted on Norfolk Street Between Rivington and Stanton on the LES.
The UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade) Theater’s East Village, NYC location may have closed this past February, but the colorful mural by local hotshot street artist Kenny Scharf lives on across its now permanently-shuttered security gate! See it for yourself on your next Urban Art Safari at 155 East 3rd Street between Avenues A and B.
Art By CES, AKA Robert Provenzano (All Photos By Gail)
Do you like Street Art? I Sure do. Whether you’re already an avid fan of street art, or are just curious about, and open to, getting schooled on the evolution of this rather phenomenal genre of pop culture, you have through the final weekend in September to immerse yourself in an ambitious, but temporary, street art museum called Beyond the Streets.
Spray Paint Cans Wallpaper Inside The Elevator
Paintings and Sculpture By TENGAone
Beyond The Streets is a celebration of society’s most pervasive mark makers and rule breakers with unprecedented purpose and scale; inside these walls you will find a collection of stories and works by artists past and present who have helped to propel graffiti and street art to extraordinary heights. Works from more than 150 of the world’s leading graffiti and street artists from past and present are represented, alongside cutting-edge contemporary artists and pop culture icons. The exhibit spans two full floors on the footprint of an entire city block, in a newly-constructed high rise office building on the waterfront in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (the views alone are worth the price of admission).
Storefront Mural Photos By Jim Prigoff
Here’s One Of Those Views I Mentioned
Beyond The Streets explores the collective urgency of using the street as a canvas for expression, and while the subject matter varies and the mediums are many, it is in the public sphere where these messages find a home.
Mural By Tats Cru / The Mural Kings
The story starts more than 50 years ago, in the mid to late 1960s, when the contemporary concept of graffiti took shape in the streets of New York and Philadelphia. Disenfranchised youth, inspired equally from boredom and ego, started scrawling their names and monikers everywhere, spawning copycats and competition.
Subway Car Graffiti Photos By Henry Chalfant
These early acts of letter-based marks, created in both marker and spray paint, became monumental when repeated on a global scale.
Death of Graffiti 3 By Lady Pink
People have long taken to the streets to share a name, phrase, image or cause with the world around them to force a public discourse. Streets act as the symbolically important public stage that is both local and universal, the bedrock for both public protest and anonymous action.
Soul Train Mural By Lee Quinones
The streets also act as a tool for civic engagement and activism, and Beyond The Streets includes figures who have used their art to unite the oppressed around a common cause. As it is so often said, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and simple gestures in public spaces can quickly galvanize a movement, raising awareness of an issue and resulting in change.
Keith Haring With His Artwork Plus Decorated Leather Jacket, and Drawings by Jean-Michel Basquiat
For some, the streets were a starting point to evolve their message and style. Pushing their craft in figurative, illustrative, realist or abstract directions, they turned their energy and experience toward more traditional settings. For others, graffiti was never an origin, but an inspiration. Elements of graffiti and street art can be found across music, fashion and contemporary art, all helping this culture to proliferate further.
The Beasties Boys have multiple galleries dedicated to their music, memorabilia and hip hop legacy. If you’re a fan, you won’t want to miss it!
Pboto of The Beastie Boys Circa 1984 By Josh Cheuse
Beyond The Streets affirms a truth that cannot be overstated: Graffiti and Street Art would not have become what they have without New York City! Let’s take a look at a selection of the thousands of pieces of art — including sculptures, paintings, posters, flyers, installations, photography, and other ephemera that you’ll see in this fantastic exhibit!
Photos By Maripol
Art By John “CRASH” Matos
Art By Rammellzee
Friendly docent Lynzy gently reminds a pair of enthusiastic young ones that there is no touching of the art!
Daily Commute (Left) and The Four Seasons (Right) by Chris “DAZE” Ellis
Fuck Mural By Maya Hayuk
Kenny Scharf’s Totemtiki Kinetic Sculpture and Mural
Let’s Take a Break to Check Out That View Again!
Hip Hop Flyers By Buddy Esquire
Check out this crazy thing: the Magic TouchPorch Tattoo Parlor installation by Bert Krak and Alexis Ross. So cool!
Untitled Polaroid By Dash Snow
Model Train Examples of Freight Train Car Graffiti
Posters Collage Installation By Craig R. Stecyk III
Flower-Themed Art Installation By The Husband and Wife Team Known As DABSMYLA
Art Above and Below By André Saraiva.
Also By André: Lynzy’s Manicure!
Art By Cleon Peterson
Art By Craig Costello
Fan The Flames By Shepard Fairey
The politically-themed art of Shepard Fairey gets a huge amount of space in the exhibit (see below). All his stuff is great.
Trash Records Pop Up Record Store, Exterior
Trash Records Pop Up Record Store, Interior
Art By Mister Cartoon
Beyond the Streets is all kinds of crazy fun, and there is so much more on display than what I’ve had room for here. We spent close to three hours exploring the exhibit, just taking our time and looking at everything, but you could easily make a full afternoon of it if you really wanted to read all the stories and take a ton of selfies (there are many excellent selfie opportunities that I didn’t cover here, but trust me that the exhibit is infinitely Instagram-able). I’d suggest allowing a minimum of two and one-half hours inside the exhibit. Plan your visit now!
Beyond the Streets Runs Through September 29th, 2019 and is Located at 25 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY (Take the L Train to the Bedford Stop and Walk about 10 Minutes). Tickets are $25 for Adults and Kids Over 12, $11 for Kids Aged 6 to 11, and Free for Kids Aged 5 and Under. Visit This Link For More Information Such as Hours, Discounts, and to Purchase Tickets!
Art Above and Below By Faile (Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller)
Whether you’re seeing his colorful works out on the street, or in the gallery, Kenny Scharf has one of the most instantly recognizable styles in the contemporary art world. Deitch Projects downtown is currently hosting Inner and Outer Space, an ambitious exhibit of Sharf’s newest works which features several distinct collections that provide evidence of Scharf’s enthusiasm for expanding his oeuvre, while staying true to the playful characteristics of his work that his fans love the most.
You can get a hint of what you’re in for before you even stop inside the gallery
The faces are melting in Kenny Scharf’s new paintings. “Things are disintegrating,” says the artist. “I am reacting to our increasingly out-of-control situation.” Scharf’s work continues to be infused by his inexhaustible optimism and his sense of fun, but there has always been an engagement with profound issues beneath the façade. Ecology, the environment, and capitalist excess have long been central themes.
Kenny Scharf’s work has always combined and contrasted the pop culture he absorbed growing up in Los Angeles with the important innovations in modern and contemporary art. His earlier work fused Dali and Disney. More recently, he has been in dialogue with Pollock and Abstract Expressionism. In the new work, he merges his distinct style with color field and stain painting. “I like to connect with every movement in 20th-century art,” Scharf explains. “I make new hybrids, taking it all in and putting it in a blender.”
Scharf is very enthusiastic about his new “sloppy style” that characterizes the major paintings in the exhibition. Rows of faces disintegrate into colorful drips reminiscent of both New York School painting and the serial imagery of minimal art. In these new works, Scharf is striving to create clear and simple forms that resonate with meaning. He feels liberated and excited, adding that “it is so much fun.”
Like his artistic colleagues from his early years in New York, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, Scharf studied cartoons as a way to intensify figurative expression. He makes use of cartoon faces to express emotion with abstract power.
In the past, Kenny found many of the items integrated into his art in the garbage,and even today he still stops his car when he finds plastic toys and TV sets thrown away on the street. These discarded plastic objects have inspired the two other bodies of work featured in the show, one being TV Bax.
The TV Bax are painted on the plastic backs of discarded television sets. Like the toys, the TV backs have a disconcerting anthropomorphic quality. Scharf wonders if their anonymous designers created these plastic covers, which are different for every model, to resemble a face.
TV Bax, Detail
Scharf finds these thrown-away toys and TV backs to be poignant objects, resonant with emotion. “Each of these objects carries a story,” Scharf explains. He thinks about how people might have struggled and sacrificed to buy these toys and TVs, and about the intense relationship that children and families have with them. Scharf resurrects the lives of these inanimate objects in his work. He also notes that garbage keeps changing with technology. The backs of TV sets used to have large protruding “noses.” Now they are flatter and more similar to a canvas.
Another new collection, his Assemblage Vivant Tableaux Plastiques, inspired by the Nouveau Realistes, are constructed from his stock of recycled plastic toys. These wall sculptures, which mix assorted toy parts with Scharf’s whimsical animated faces, are my favorite items in the exhibit.
Assemblage Vivant Tableaux Plastiques, Detail
Since his childhood, Scharf has been fascinated by outer space. Space travel and the portrayal of infinite space have long been central themes. In his life and in his work, he tries to eliminate boundaries and borders. As he pursues his dialogue with the great painters of the New York School, he is increasingly preoccupied with the inner space of painting. His exploration of inner space creates a dynamic tension with his passion for outer space. With his characteristic exuberance and his moral voice, Scharf reformulates his unique combination of Pollock and Pop to create a vibrant new body of work.
Kenny Scharf’s Inner and Outer Space will be on Exhibit Through December 22nd, 2017 at Deitch Projects, Located at 18 Wooster Street (Just North of Canal) in NYC.
Kenny Scharf and Friend at the Exhibit’s Opening Reception.
Artist Kenny Scharf rose to prominence in the 1980s New York art scene as part of a now-legendary group of artists including Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, but he was born and raised in Los Angeles, and now makes southern California his home. If you also live in LA, or plan to visit, and you love art, then make a point to check out the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA), which, as the name suggests, features exhibits exclusively by California artists, architects and designers. Although the museum’s exhibits change approximately every six months, there is one permanent exhibit by Kenny Scharf, which happens to be in the parking garage adjacent the building; the Kosmic Krylon Garage! Let’s take a look inside!
When You See This Face, You Have Arrived at the Kosmic Krylon Garage
In the summer of 2004, Kenny Scharf: California Grown opened at the PMCA as the Museum’s first tri-level exhibition, with paintings installed and a tape of The Groovenians — Scharf’s animated show for Cartoon Network — screening on the second floor, his bronze sculptures in the third-floor Founders’ Gallery, and the transformation of the PMCA garage into the Kosmic Krylon Garage.
After the exhibition closed, the colorful murals spray-painted by Scharf over the course of a week remained on the walls of the garage and continue as a permanent installation. The Kosmic Krylon Garageis on view during regular Museum hours. Parking in the garage is free of charge.
Check Out My Photos of Some of the Artwork Inside the Garage:
This Angry Mushroom Cloud covers most of the very rear wall of the garage.
The lot was almost full on the day of our visit, so I did not get many photos without pre owned cars in them, sorry!
If you remember Kenny’s Bowery Mural installation that went up in late 2010, you will recognize these little guys as being indicative of his signature characters.
Find out more about the Kosmic Krylon Garage, and plan your visit to the Pasadena Museum of California Art, at This Link!
Do you like Kenny Scharf? I sure do. I’ve seen his fun artwork everywhere in the city — from huge murals and sculptures to paintings and toys, cars and golf carts and even…mannequins! Scharf ‘sSwirley mannequin is part of the Ralph Pucci: The Art of The Mannequin exhibit, which is up through October 25th at the Museum of Arts and Design in Columbus Circle.
Here she is with some of her friends!
Scharf actually designed many different mannequins in his career, and you can also see some of their heads at the exhibit, which I recommend you check out before it is too late!