Kenny Scharf (b. 1958, Los Angeles) is a muralist, painter, sculptor, and installation artist best known for his fantastical paintings of anthropomorphic animals and imagined creatures. He attended the School of Visual Arts, New York, where he received his B.F.A. Scharf gained notoriety for his participation in New York City’s downtown art scene of the 1980s, along with his good friend and fellow street artist Keith Haring. His graffiti paintings gained him recognition and fame, with his works regularly featuring large, colorful, pop culture icons and patterns. Growing up in Southern California, Scharf was fascinated by television and modern design, often influenced by imaginative caricatures of middle-class Americans in science fiction settings. He was influenced by Pop Art, as seen in his appropriation of cartoon characters from television shows like the Flintstones and Jetsons.
His work was embraced by museums, such as the Whitney, which selected him for the 1985 Whitney Biennial. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Miami Center for the Fine Arts, and the Queens Museum of Art, among others. His work is in many public collections, including; The Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach; The Brant Foundation; Greenwich, CT; The Broad Foundation, Los Angeles; The Jewish Museum, New York, NY; The Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NJ; The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; among others. Sharf who is not new to the fashion world, has most recently announced a collaboration with Dior’s Fall 2021 Pre-Fall Collection.
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