Scharf, Kenny

Kenny Scharf (born 1958) is an American painter who gained notoriety in the East Village art scene of the 1980’s. He earned his B.F.A. in 1980 with a major in painting at the School of Visual Arts located in New York City. Scharf’s works consist of painting pop culture icons in a science fiction setting, including the Flintstones and the Jetsons. He is most well- known for his work in the 1980s interdisciplinary art scene.

Scharf is highly regarded for his work in the East Village, Manhattan art scene of the 1980s, with shows at Fun gallery (1981) and Tony Shafrazi (1984), before seeing his work embraced by museums including the Whitney, which selected him for the 1985 Whitney Biennial. Art scribe Demetria Daniels writing in Downtown Magazine said about his work from this time that it “leaves you with hope, joy, play and optimism, and a sense of love.”  It was also during this period that he created the cover art for the B-52s fourth studio album, Bouncing off the Satellites. Scharf was friends and former roommates with graffiti artist Keith Haring and appears in the documentary “The Universe of Keith Haring”. With Keith, he created the first of his blacklight disco installations called “cosmic closet” inside their Times Square apartment. That project has grown and morphed into its most recent incarnation, “Cosmic Cavern”. In 2004, he appeared in The Nomi Song, a documentary about his friend, opera singer Klaus Nomi.

In 2010, Kenny Scharf collaborated with Joe Grillo and Laura Grant of Dearraindrop, an artist collective from Virginia Beach, for a show at The Hole NYC curated by Kathy Grayson. Scharf has had featured exhibits at the Monterrey Museum of Contemporary Art, the Miami Center for the Fine Arts, and the Queens Museum of Art.  As of 2015 he is still actively painting while living in Los Angeles Ca.