Biography of Kenny Scharf
The prolific and endlessly creative Kenny Scharf (born 1958), is renowned for his anthropomorphic animals, contorting backgrounds and lively creatures. He calls his art Pop Surrealism, once stating “My unconscious is pop, so therefore the art would be Pop-Surrealism.”
Drawing from television and pop culture, he, alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, came to prominence in the multi-interdisciplinary art scene in 1980s downtown New York. It has been said that his energetic and teeming compositions possess a Baroque sensibility, and the playful nature may cause people to gloss over the more serious themes that exist in his work.
Kenny Scharf is adept across a multitude of media, including printmaking, drawing, and sculpture. Enormously popular, he has designed album covers for bands such as The B-52s’ Bouncing off the Satellites, made designs for Zippo lighters and even mobile phones. Much of his artwork are littered with pop culture icons, such as the cartoon characters taken from the Jetsons and the Flintstones, and images of average American families in apocalyptic settings.
In 2017 Kenny Scharf’s work was exhibited at the exhibitions “Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has had solo exhibitions at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Mexico, in 1996, Portland Art Museum, Oregon in 2015 and University Galleries, Illinois State University, Normal in 1997.