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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
These early acts of letter-based marks, created in both marker and spray paint, became monumental when repeated on a global scale.
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.
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.
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.
Beastie Boys Logo By Cey Adams
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!
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!
Friendly docent Lynzy gently reminds a pair of enthusiastic young ones that there is no touching of the art!
Check out this crazy thing: the Magic Touch Porch Tattoo Parlor installation by Bert Krak and Alexis Ross. So cool!
Art Above and Below By André Saraiva.
The politically-themed art of Shepard Fairey gets a huge amount of space in the exhibit (see below). All his stuff is great.
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.
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.
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.
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. If you are nearby, then you also have to check out this alloy repair company that’s nearby, they can take one look at your car and say if you need repairs and have them done in no time. 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!
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 Garage is 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 ‘s Swirley 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!
Andy Warhol was a pioneer in bringing the commercial image to the world of fine art, and now it’s always fun and fascinating to see how ubiquitous pop culture images, such as the department store mannequin, come into being through a fine art process.
Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin is the first museum exhibition to explore the work of renowned New York-based designer Ralph Pucci, who is widely regarded for his innovative approach to the familiar form of the mannequin. Having collaborated with luminaries such as Diane von Furstenberg, Patrick Naggar, Andrée Putman, Kenny Scharf, Anna Sui, Isabel and Ruben Toledo and Christy Turlington, Pucci’s mannequins not only expand the parameters of this ubiquitous sculptural form, but reflect major cultural trends of the past three decades.
As Pucci was building his business in the 1970s, the notion of the Super Model — the living mannequin with a personality — emerged. Pucci captured this catalytic moment in his work, finding inspiration from sources as varied as Greek and Roman statues and the performance costumes of the New York Dolls.
Pucci personified the previously anonymous form in new and challenging ways, creating visions of physical beauty that were more specific, empowered, and diverse than the fashion industry had previously allowed. More than commercial armatures or sculptural forms, his mannequins became agents of change in our attitudes to the body, to fashion, and to individual identity.
In addition to over 30 of Pucci’s most important mannequins The Art of the Mannequin, features an in-gallery recreation of his sculpture studio, and short films you can watch in the gallery that reveal the step-by-step process on mannequin making, which is extremely enlightening. Pucci’s master sculptor and longtime collaborator, Michael Evert, will be in residence during the exhibition’s run to give visitors a first-hand look at the creative process, from initial modeling in clay to the rendering of the fiberglass end-product.
Ralph Pucci: The Art of the Mannequin will be on Exhibit Through October 25th, 2015 at the Museum of Arts and Design, Located at 2 Columbus Circle in NYC. Visit This Link for more information.
If you haven’t been to Coney Island at least once this summer, you owe it to yourself to make the trip. Most residents of Manhattan who live, say, from midtown to the east village area, can make it from the door to the shore in under 90 minutes, depending on how the trains are running. And for half the ride, the trains run above ground, so that makes it a bit more interesting of a ride as well. Even if you are not a “Beach Person” (raises hand), and the rides at Luna Park make you barf (keeps hand raised) there is so much to see and do at Coney Island that all you need to have is an adventurous spirit, and maybe some sunblock.
If you are a street art lover, you will absolute want to plan a visit to see the Coney Art Walls, a public art project conceived by art dealer and curator Jeffrey Deitch, which is going to be up until Halloween. Coney Art Walls features more than 25 colorful murals created by some of the most well-known street artists in the world. We spotted many of our favorites artists including How & Nosm, Roa, Buff Monster, Kenny Scharf and Ron English, as well as a selection of artists who are still up-and-coming. It’s a great mix of talent.
The walls are interspersed with re-purposed cargo containers to create a pop-up truck food village, with food sold by vendors organized by Smorgasburg. Concerts are also held in the space.
Belgian artist Roa gets two adjoining walls to create a juxtaposed Rat and Rat Skeleton.
Coney Art Walls are located at 1320 Bowery Street right behind the original Nathan’s on Surf Avenue.
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