Kenny Scharf is an American painter and iconic street artist.
His inimitable graffiti paintings gained him notoriety and fame in the New York downtown art scene of the 1980s, with his work regularly featuring stylized aliens and popular culture icons in tessellated, colorful patterns.
“Part of what I do and what I want to do is I want to bring art into the everyday life,” the artist has said of his street practice. “If you’re just walking in the street and you're confronted by something, that might change your day—it might inspire you.”
Often painting improvisationally, many of Scharf’s playful, gestural murals still adorn New York streets to this day. He befriended such luminaries as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, and gained widespread recognition in renowned institutions, as evidenced by his inclusion in the 1985 Whitney Biennial.
Born in Los Angeles, CA in 1958, Scharf has maintained a New York-based practice since his completing his BFA in painting at the School of Visual Arts in 1980. 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.