Legendary contemporary artist Kenny Scharf teams up with daughter, Malia Scharf, to create Scharftees: one of a kind wearable artwork, featuring hand screened T-shirts, sweatshirts and hand painted denim jackets.
This exclusive and accessible Scharftees collection will be available at a retail pop-up for the very first time at Allouche Gallery in NYC. The event will be open to the public on Thursday, October 25, 2018 from 6:00-9:00PM for a soft opening, and on Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27 from 10:30-7:00PM
Scharftees was born out of the love for making art combined with the desire to make one-of-a-kind artworks wearable and accessible. Each item of clothing is either painted or hand screened with Kenny's handmade and curated screens, which he has collected over the past 30 years. "For me, there is no separation between life and art, and clothes are just an extension of yourself living your art,” explains Kenny Scharf. The Scharftees collection is filled with recognizable and defining motifs and vivid colors. It includes signature cartoon-like faces, layers of old advertisements and campaign imagery, and one of Kenny’s early tags, the General Electrics symbol (GE).
Before coming to NY Kenny dreamed of arriving and meeting one of his idols, Andy Warhol. In a few years his dreams would come true and Andy would become Kenny's mentor and good friend. Andy was inspired by Kenny's use of the GE (General Electric) symbol in the streets and created a silk screen to use in the portrait he did of Kenny Scharf. Andy went on to create many works of art with the GE symbol.
According to the artist, “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.” Not only is the Scharftees collection affordable, with T-shirts starting at just $150 and sweatshirts at $250, but Malia and her father give back. Much of the proceeds of Scharftees go to protecting our water, human rights, women's rights and reproductive justice, as well as the environment. They donate to many different nonprofit organizations committed to the said above. Some of the organizations they have donated to are: Planned Parenthood, Center for Reproductive Rights, Natural Resources Defense Council, The International Refugee Assistance Project, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, The Trevor Project, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund. According to Malia Scharf, “It's a full cycle and that's the way it should be. Life feeds art, art feeds life.”
About Kenny Scharf:
Kenny Scharf, born in 1958 in California, participated in the East Village art scene during the 1980s. A friend of Andy Warhol, Klaus Nomi and Ann Magnuson, Scharf was one of the leading figures of Club 57, while, along with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, he contributed to the redefinition of painting through the use of a painterly language influenced by street art and 80’s pop aesthetics. Having worked with different kinds of media, ranging from painting to installation art, Kenny Scharf developed a visual language based on vivid “candy” colors, and invented a symbolic universe inhabited by his own cartoon characters that were inspired by the heroes of the TV series “The Flintstones” and “The Jetsons” that he used to watch as a child. Scharf's characters seem to adopt a rather critical stance towards the ideals of modernist painting. They keep sprouting up through biomorphic shapes on the surface of the canvas, or on the walls of buildings, and they even take a three-dimensional form on Scharf’s sculptures…always in a playful mood to disrupt reality and “break the rules, if any.”
About Malia Scharf:
Malia Scharf is a multifaceted human; an artist, an activist, a filmmaker, a doula, and a yoga teacher. Scharftees is a beautiful collaboration and manifestation of the belief that ”life feeds art and art feeds life"; a way of creating and giving back where it is needed.