KENNY SCHARF
A pop myth

Martín Ulloa September 2019 LIFESTYLE Read in PDF format N22/2019
KENNY SCHARF The pioneer of pop surrealism, partner of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, moves his great exhibition “UNIVERSALIS” to La Nave Salinas, a hyperbolic catalogue of human emotions. //

How do you conceive this exhibition at La Nave Salinas?

Lots and lots of tondo faces.

 

What’s all about?

Emotions colors, patterns and dots.

 

How do we may approach to it?

Anyway you’d like.

 

Talking about your career, what made you choose art?

It shows me. I’ve always painted since I was a little boy and I didn’t know what else I could do maybe a farmer or gardener?

 

What do you understand by the American Pop Surrealism label?

It’s a term I came up with back in 1981 (although not always happy with how it has evolved) using the elements of pop culture that we all share and the deep unconscious of the surrealists. I claim that I am actually a surrealist but my unconscious is full of popular imagery due to high saturation at a very early age.

 

What did you learn on the SVA (School of Visual Arts)?

I learned about New York City and I made important and meaningful friends and I learned to take advantage of resources that a school offers.

 

Are schools necessary for an artist? Or do they get unwanted effects?

You take what you want from the school and don’t let ideology that you don’t agree with guide you.

 

We’re all always so inundated by Pop imagery. How do you choose the material that goes into your work?

Usually it chooses me or I might be looking for a specific type of imagery most likely advertisements from the late 50s early 60s displaying products at their finest.

 

You’ve arrived in New York with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. How do you remember them?

They were completely inspiring. Besides missing them, we had an exciting and healthy competition that I miss.

 

How has New York changed since you arrived?

New York is a completely different place from the late 70s but I think the whole world is.

 

In this culture of the hyper-visual, how do you manage to be both fresh and modern?

Thank you, I just do what I love and am constantly learning and expanding.

 

How has your idea of an artist evolved over the years?

The idea of what an artist is has evolved very much. I think it’s limitless and is a state of being.

 

How do you conceive a piece of art?

I usually just intuitively let it happen using spontaneity and chance in the beginning, letting that guide me and revealing itself later.

 

Murals, painting, sculpture, and installation… where do you feel more confortable?

They are all very different and each offers their own special excitement for me.

 

The audience, do they know what they want?

I don’t know what the audience wants but I know as an audience member I want real emotion.

 

And you?

I want to feel something.

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