Preparing for his immense exhibit of paintings, following his “Optimistically Melting” exhibition at Honor Fraser Los Angeles, celebrated street artist Kenny Sharf created 250 circular paintings of faces, all in different expressions, over a couple of months, sometimes painting several faces a day. Apart from painting, Scharf also creates sculptures, installations, and mixed-media pieces that feature his cast of anthropomorphic creatures and cosmic-themed visuals. Now, as part of his exhibition titled “MOODZ,” the faces will be featured at Jeffrey Deitch’s LA outpost. “He thinks of his paintings as being like people: no two are alike,” the gallery expressed in a statement.
He is notable for being one of the first contemporary artists to inject elements of street culture, much like his peers Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring with whom he rose to prominence in the 1980s East Village art scene. Scharf began spray-painting his drippy, psychedelic faces in 1981 and continues to do so in dynamic new forms. He draws elements of nostalgic cartoons, classic Americana, and vintage advertisements across his works.
Further explaining, “The serial imagery and the iconic quality of Scharf’s faces evoke the work of Andy Warhol. The conceptual structure also reflects the heritage of Sol LeWitt. Scharf likens the multiple colored images on the wall to his early memory seeing the pixels of color on his parents’ first color television. His work fuses the vocabulary of Pop Art and Minimalism with the 1960s California TV culture that he experienced as a boy in the San Fernando Valley and as a high school student in Beverly Hills. He characterizes his approach to art as psychedelic conceptualism.”
Check out the photos from the exhibition down below. MOODZ is on view at Jeffrey Deitch Los Angeles through October 31.