Kenny Scharf

Kenny Scharf

Few artists crisscross high-low categories as deftly as Kenny Scharf, whose whimsical work inhabits a gallery as strikingly as it does a street. Just down the road from his tire-shop mural, the exterior of Honor Fraser is currently festooned in a tacky crown of plastic toys that dangle menacingly over your head as you the enter the threshold. Inside, assorted large-scale paintings demand a certain degree of earnest consideration while provoking laughter for the brash goofiness of their colorful casts of amorphous characters. Smeared with cosmic orbs and abstract squiggles, a dingy couch and a quartet of once-elegant chairs testify to the fact that no item, however mundane, is immune to having its surface stormed by Scharf’s razzle-dazzle brushwork. The backs of two TV sets are transformed into grinning buck-toothed aliens. Just beyond, green houseplants spill from ceramic flowerpots doubling as portraits of monsters and Fred Flintstone. Amassed from trinkets and toys disgorged from the past, several plastic assemblages evoke the ravenousness of a society perpetually grasping at throwaway baubles. Yet Scharf’s prolific recycling of objects, styles and characters playfully suggests that cultural castoffs can be salvaged and transfigured as easily as they were discarded.

 

Honor Fraser Gallery
2622 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Show runs through Nov. 16