Growing up in the San Fernando Valley of L.A., Kenny Scharf became immersed in the visuals of 1950’s cars, television, and the architecture that surrounded him, thus shaping his interests in popular culture, the arts, and the surreal.
Fast forward to 1978 when he moves from his native Los Angeles to New York City to attend the School Of Visual Arts where Kenny takes courses in photo-realist painting, airbrush, video making and editing, photography, and collage. There, he rallies around peers such as Keith Haring, Julian Schnabel, Francesco Clemente, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, who not only pursue exhibiting their art by any means necessary and invigorate a movement in the East Village, but then go on to ultimately define the contemporary art of our times.
Now, you will find Kenny Scharf, at age 52, as ambitious as ever, taking part in public art projects and celebrated exhibitions world-wide. Along the way there has been no shortage of accomplishments. Among them, album covers for the B-52’s, designs for the Tunnel Club, exhibitions at institutions such as Fun Gallery, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, The Whitney Museum, MOCA, and inclusion in numerous important public and private collections.
While he has called luminaries such as Klaus Nomi and Madonna his friends, he surrounds himself with his beautiful family. These are the achievements that have molded his personable character, and also solidified his importance as a contemporary figure in American culture.
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Intro and Interview by: Joseph Ian Henrikson