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  • Catalogue Essay

    “Art has so little boundaries, in my opinion. I’m not saying I don’t want the elitist art world to be excited. But I also want any child who knows nothing about our history, or anyone for that matter, a construction worker, whatever, to see something and get inspired: to see a car drive by, to drive by a mural or whatever — something that’s for everyone.” —Kenny Scharf

    Describing himself as a ‘pop surrealist’, Kenny Scharf is a painter and installation artist whose distinctive graffiti art and visual vocabulary of colourful, lively globular figures have won him a legion of fans around the world. Born in Los Angeles in 1958 before moving to New York to attend Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts, Scharf came to be known alongside his contemporaries Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, and his mentor Andy Warhol, associated with the art scene in 1980s downtown New York. Currently living and working in Los Angeles, Scharf successfully merges fine art with popular culture, using spray paint on a variety of surfaces, from canvas, to cars to the concrete walls of Los Angeles’ vast cityscape.

     

    The present work installed at Los Angeles, Jeffrey Deitch, Kenny Scharf: MOODZ, 1 August - 31 October 2020

     

    Krazy (2020) is emblematic of Scharf’s joyous, visually arresting oeuvre of highly animated faces, created in 2020 as one of his limited number of two hundred and fifty unique circular paintings of differing expressions. Displayed at his solo show, Kenny Scharf: MOODZ at Jeffrey Deitch in Los Angeles between 1 August and 31 October 2020, these kaleidoscopic faces of an assortment of sizes express the various layers of his own emotions: happy, goofy, angry or tired. Defining his style as ‘psychedelic conceptualism’, Scharf harnesses the spontaneity of spray paint, his dynamic gestures imbuing his work with a radiant vitality. The exuberant colours of Krazy are immediately eye-catching, the rich yellow and orange of the background contrasting with the cobalt blue and red that Scharf applies to the eyes and the outline of its toothy smile. The crazed, slightly grimacing countenance of Krazy is intriguing in its enigmatic nature, captivating and amusing the viewer with its energy.

     

    Documentary by Max Basch and Malia Scharf, Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide, April 2021Caption

     

    Scharf’s involvement in the 1985 Whitey Biennial marked the launch of his international career that has spanned decades, his work featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world. This year, Scharf was honored with a solo show, Vaxi Nation, at Almine Rech, Paris (21 January to 6 March 2021), following his solo exhibition, DystopianPainting, at the gallery’s New York location in 2020. In June 2021, the documentary, Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide, was released on various online streaming platforms, dedicated to the artist’s life and work, and the origins of his distinctive visual vocabulary. Signalling an important time in the artist’s career, Scharf has also recently collaborated with the major fashion house Dior for their Fall 2021 collection, marrying his cartoonish forms with high fashion.

     

    The artist, photographed by Harry Eelman for Dior x Kenny Scharf, Fall 2021
    • Condition Report

    • Provenance

      Lio Malca Gallery, New York
      Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles
      Private Collection, New York
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Los Angeles, Jeffrey Deitch; Miami, Jeffrey Deitch, Kenny Scharf: MOODZ, 1 August - 31 December 2020, pp. 60-61 (illustrated)

20

Krazy

signed, titled, numbered and dated ' "Krazy" Kenny Scharf #369 '20' on the reverse
spray paint on canvas
diameter 50.8 cm. (20 in.)
Executed in 2020.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
HK$200,000 - 400,000 
€21,700-43,500
$25,600-51,300

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Contact Specialist

Hin Hin Wong
Associate Specialist, 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Hong Kong
+852 2318 2013
[email protected]

24/7: Online Auction

Online Auction 21 - 30 July 2021