Urban Psychedelia

Pink Frosted Cruller in Outer Space, 2010. Oil on linen. 24 x 24 inches. Private Collection. By Kenny Scharf
Pink Frosted Cruller in Outer Space, 2010. Oil on linen. 24 x 24 inches. Private Collection. By Kenny Scharf

Artist Kenny Scharf comes to Long Island with visual eye candy exhibit

Long Island is about to get an education in colorful pop art. The newest exhibition at the Nassau County Museum of Art (NCMA), Kenny Scharf, was curated by museum director Dr. Karl E. Willers and the museum’s staff, and artist Kenny Scharf knows you won’t be disappointed.

The exhibit showcases approximately 50 paintings and sculptures from Scharf’s career, inspired by color, the work of Andy Warhol and everyday life around him. Newly re-installed in the museum’s galleries is a version of the artist’s psychedelic, Cosmic Cavern club-like environment, as well as a recreation of his workspace.

Kenny Scharf exhibit, Cosmic Cavern
The Cosmic Cavern installation collection of the artist

As an artist, Scharf draws upon pop icons and consumer culture. Fascinated by the topic, he enjoys doing things everyone can relate to.

“I don’t particularly like esoteric art that one or two people can understand. I like to appeal to a broad audience, but I also want to send messages that can be looked at in different ways,” said Scharf. “Something can appeal to a child because of the colors and someone more art educated might also see different layers in the work. You have to look further or leave it up to the individual when looking at the work.”

Scharf is looking forward to the exhibition and hopes others are, too.

“I was introduced to Karl and the idea of doing a show there by some collectors of mine,” he said.

Kenny Scharf exhibit, WILMASCAPE98-27X21
Wilmascape, 1998. Acrylic on canvas. Private Collection.

As the curator, it was Willers’ job to select what pieces to feature in the showcase. Scharf said the cosmic cavern is something he has been doing for many years and is actually a room he had in his basement in Brooklyn. But there’s plenty of art to see, even if the artist doesn’t know what it is yet.

“There’s a lot of different things being featured and a couple things that we’re still trying to get that hasn’t been seen for many years. That would be very exciting,” he said, although the entirety of the show is still not confirmed. “Paintings new and old, the cosmic cavern, bronze sculptures, some good stuff. I’m excited.”

For more about the gallery and Scharf’s artwork, see Dreaming In Cosmic Color.

Dreaming In Cosmic Color

To learn more about Kenny Scharf, visit www.kennyscharf.com.

For more information, visit www.nassaumuseum.org. The Nassau County Museum of Art is located at 1 Museum Dr., Roslyn.

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Jennifer Fauci is the managing editor of Long Island Weekly, Anton Media Group's award-winning special sections and Anton’s local magazines. Her passion for literature, travel and the arts lend to the unique content in her publications. In her time at Anton, she has received first place in the Folio Awards, second place for the NYPA awards and is the recipient of six PCLI awards.

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