Kenny Scharf - 80s New York Friday, December 17, 2010 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Fun Gallery, New York; Acquired directly from the above by the present owner in 1982

  • Exhibited

    New York, Fun Gallery, Kenny Scharf, 1982

  • Catalogue Essay

    It was the fall of 1982. New York was brimming with all kinds of new painting movements—graffiti, Neo-expressionism among them—and Kenny Scharf was having a show at the newly relocated Fun Gallery on East 10th Street. The painting in question divided the storefront space in two and functioned as the backdrop for the latest of Kenny’s madcap black-light rooms—full of mysterious aquarium-like hybirds glowing in the dark. The combination of Elroy Jetson as a sea monster and Wilma Flintstone as a bird was properly totemic, and appealed to the taste of an art-history PhD candidate recently returned from Paris.
    Later that fall Kenny and Rene Ricard brought the painting up to 26 West 74th Street where Kenny cut it down slightly on both ends to fit a long wall in my one-bedroom digs. A festooned and customized black light was installed on top, and Rene insisted on playing a new 45 record he had just bought: Marvin Gaye’s "Sexual Healing." That was the euphoric if angst-filled mood of the moment.
    Flash forward to 2004: the Scharf canvas, which had been rolled for about 10 years, was transported to the Greek island of Hydra where its mythic seascape became the centerpiece of a candy-pink painted grotto meditation room in the basement of our old stone house—a room notorious for bizarre rituals enacted by the former owners and their Cypriot guru in the ‘70s. Now the Scharf grotto-scape grooved with the Flower Power patterns of a Lily Van Der Stokker table and chairs and our daughter’s blue and white African doll house; the weird vibes of the room were cleansed.
    In August 2010 our friend and collaborator Ricky Clifton carried the huge painting back by hand to New York, where he has stretched it for the first time. Now this forgotten piece of ‘80s art history is ready for yet another fun-filled reincarnation.
    Brooks Adams



Acrylic and Day-Glo on canvas.
94 x 170 in. (238.8 x 431.8 cm).

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $52,500


17 December 2010
New York