Kenny Scharf Biography

Kenny Scharf (Los Angeles 1958 - ) is an American painter working in a variety of mediums within the fields of painting, sculpture, and performance. Born and now residing in Los Angeles, Scharf is associated with the city’s Lowbrow art movement of the late 1970’s, as it is reflected in the humorous tones, cartoonish style, and street culture influences visible in his work. Graduated from the School of Visual Arts, in New York City, Scharf is also a well-known artist of the East Village art scene of the 1980’s. Having worked alongside artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Scharf maintains a desire to surpass the exclusivist boundaries of the fine art world and connect directly to popular culture and its audiences. Further, “My personal ambition has always been to live the example,” Scharf explains. It is exactly this living which is evident in the artist’s work, as he creates with purpose and an intention to “produce the best work possible every time,” as he describes it. Exploring the intersections between Pop Culture, Abstract Expressionism, and Surrealism, Scharf’s style is distinctive in its whimsical, illustrative, and comic-like nature. Today, Scharf’s works are held in many permanent collections around the world, including those of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Broad Foundation, Los Angeles, and The Jewish Museum, New York.

Kenny Scharf