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Kenny Scharf “Goes Wild” at Honor Fraser

Kenny Scharf. 3 AMIGOS, 2023.

Honor Fraser will present GO WILD!, a solo exhibition by Kenny Scharf. Scharf’s 10th exhibition with the gallery celebrates his decades-long engagement with the city of Los Angeles, and charts the multifaceted ways that his signature style has imprinted onto the urban landscape of Southern California. The exhibition transforms Honor Fraser into an urban oasis where Scharf’s iconic characters and playful imagery dance amidst a backdrop of concrete, palm trees, asphalt, repair shops, carwashes, and other city infrastructure. “GO WILD!” continues to August 24th, 2024.

At the heart of GO WILD! visitors will find an immersive, sunlit installation that blurs the boundaries between Scharf’s studio, our built environment, and the natural world. Reminiscent of the artist’s legendary “Cosmic Caverns,” the garden-like installation spills out from the gallery’s central exhibition hall—overflowing with an abundance of site-specific murals, monumental concrete planters, assemblages of upcycled plastic, and colossal foliage from the artist’s home and studio.

Against the backdrop of Scharf’s immersive installation, the artist presents a new series of circular paintings. Scharf’s canvases of bombastic figures, expressive faces, and jungle-like landscapes have garnered internal acclaim. They are routinely referenced in the art historical records of pop art and street art alike. At Honor Fraser, Scharf’s latest series of paintings revel in the artist’s mastery of expressive mark-making, and at once read as familiar friends and fantastical fixtures of Los Angeles’s man-made scenography.

Beyond the galleries of paintings and plants, GO WILD! features an intimate reading room where visitors can view a collection of archival materials from Scharf’s public interventions throughout Los Angeles. These artworks and documents are presented beside a wall of archival videos, documenting Scharf as he spray-paints the vehicles in his “KARBOMBZ!” series. Now a regular staple of the visual landscape of Southern California’s freeways and roads, Scharf’s “KARBOMBZ!” began as an experiment to move his painting beyond the studio into the city. The resulting cars are testaments of Scharf’s creative mobility and unique buck with tradition.

GO WILD! documents these many facets of Scharf’s practice and invites audiences to explore a vibrant fusion of art and nature, all found in the bustling urban landscape of Los Angeles.

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