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Kenny Scharf at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery


Kenny Scharf has been slowly building up a spray-painted cast of characters to prepare for his latest show at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery, “MOODZ.” Every day over the last several months, Scharf has painted a few more of his signature faces directly on the gallery walls. Now 250 of Sharf’s characters line the sprawling gallery space, each one a unique expression of the artist’s personality.  They undoubtedly express the panoply of emotions that the recent months have elicited.

With the absence of anything on the floor of the gallery, the massive space is engulfed by the painted characters, which swell into a strange clownish army. Some are goofy and jovial, others appear angry or distressed, while others dissolve into an almost abstract swirl of line and pattern. Taken as a whole, the troop is menacing, playful, and elicits an undeniable visual energy.

Scharf’s work pops up in public spaces across the city. His characters appear on the side of muffler shops or on cars zipping down the 10 freeway. In the artist’s ongoing “Karbombz!” project, Scharf paints impromptu characters directly onto people’s cars.

As part of his exhibition, the gallery plans to present a “Karbombz! Rally” in late September. The event which will feature a gathering of dozens of Scharf’s spray-painted vehicles and a live painting session that will bring the artist’s kaleidoscopic vision out to the streets.