Due to the pandemic, Kenny Scharf will not be present for his second solo show at Almine Rech. However, as he continued to produce art in his Los Angeles studio in the middle of December, he said he was happy with the freshness of his new paintings. “It's always very exciting for me to show work that’s so recent, and even though I can’t be there, the viewers will see how new it is,” he said. Since the early 1980s, Kenny Scharf has been extremely productive and loves working on his art. Without thinking of subject matter ahead of time or restricted narrations, he develops a vocabulary that combines the influence of 1960s cartoons — particularly the Flintstones and the Jetsons — and psychedelic shapes resembling cells, bacteria, or even viruses (an interpretation that seems especially apt at the current time). During his first show at Almine Rech, which took place in September and October 2020 in New York, art critic Linda Yablonsky drew a parallel between the Covid years and the AIDS era. Back then, Kenny Scharf lived with Keith Haring, where Jean-Michel Basquiat often joined them to spend time together. He remembers it as a place of convening energies and a ping-pong game of ideas before the loss of his friends. Faced with tragedy, he decided that he would primarily show the whirlwind aspect of life, filled with bright colors. Whether they are cathartic, extending moments of ecstasy, or expressing gloom, his paintings take on his moods.
- Marie Maertens