My ambition as a professional artist is to maintain the course that I set nearly 30 years ago by establishing my work in the fields of painting, sculpture, and performance. Every project I undertake is building on my past experiences. My original approach is unchanged; it is a personal challenge to produce the best work possible every time. One very important and guiding principle to my work is to reach out beyond the elitist boundaries of fine art and connect to popular culture through my art.
My personal ambition has always been to live the example. I believe the artist has a social responsibility to engage others in a thought process that ultimately brings art into everyday life thereby enhancing the quality of our experience.
In the late 1970s, Kenny Scharf studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he was exposed to subway graffiti and the downtown art scene. He began to work in spray paint, combining it with the traditional media he used in art school. Scharf graduated from SVA in 1980, and a year later he was given a solo show at the FUN Gallery in New York. He became one of the principal figures in the East Village scene, painting both in the streets and for galleries such as Tony Shafrazi, which showed Scharf's work in 1984. The following year, the Whitney Museum of American Art included Scharf in its biennial.
Scharf's cartoonish renditions of Jetsons and Flintstones characters, distorted into lava lamp-like shapes and floating on wild, outer-space backgrounds, are often painted on huge, wall-sized canvases. His aesthetic has lent itself to popular applications as well, including nightclub and restaurant decor, clothing, toys, and album covers for pop groups such as the B-52s.