As longtime fans of street-art pioneer and pop art icon Kenny Scharf, we were excited to learn that he has an exhibition of new work opening today at Honor Fraser in LA. Hodepodge, his second solo show with the gallery, features the downtown legend working across all mediums; among the pieces on display you’ll find colorful paintings imbued with Scharf’s signature optimism, hanging sculptures created from trash he found on Brazilian beaches, one of his famed “Cosmic Cavern” black light installations, and a customized magnetic sea and powder blue Cadillac that nods at The Jetsons.
“I grew up in LA in the ’50s and the ’60s and that whole promise of the future was very much ingrained in my aesthetic,” Scharf explained to us in 2009. “Back then, everything had a futuristic tinge — the cars and the fast food and the supermarkets. That kind of Googie architecture not only shapes things visually, it shapes your mind too because it’s pounding in, ‘the future’s going to be great!’ As a little kid, I believed it. I thought I was going to buy a ticket and go to space. As I got older, as the ’70s set-in, and cars turned boxy, and everything got beige, I was like, ‘I don’t like this design aesthetic so I’m just going to continue this fantasy which I love.’ I didn’t want to give up on it so I’m doing it in my work.”
If you were a fan of the brightly-colored blob characters that populated his recent Bowery mural, you’ll want to click through now to preview a few of the paintings that will be up through May 19th.