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Dior x Kenny Scharf | The Selfridges Corner Shop |

Born in 1958 and raised in Southern California, Scharf moved to New York City in the late 70s where he completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting at the School of Visual Arts. It was there that he befriended such luminaries as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Together the trio gained notoriety and fame in the East Village art scene of the 1980s thanks to their inimitable street art. “I grew up in Southern California, but when I moved to New York I learned all about the street culture and that to me is what was exciting. I understood that language and I understood the visuals of the airbrush and I wanted to be a part of it.” 

 

Often painting improvisationally, many of Scharf’s large-scale murals of anthropomorphic animals and imagined creatures still adorn New York streets to this day. “Part of what I do and what I want to do is I want to bring art into the everyday life,” the artist has said of his street practice. “If you’re just walking in the street and you’re confronted by something, that might change your day it might inspire you.” While much of Scharf’s work now hangs in galleries and can fetch up to six figures, he is still very active in the streets. If you live in NYC, chances are you’ve seen some of the 300 cars he tagged with his imaginary creatures as part of his Karbombz public art project.

 

A huge fan of science fiction, Scharf’s stylised aliens are created solely using spray cans typically used in street art. But he doesn’t see it as graffiti. “I’ve never considered myself a graffiti artist, although I do use spray paint and I did spray all over New York City.” Instead, he uses the vivid colours as a way to infuse his work with humour.  “I love the clash of colours – yellow and purple, orange and blue, red and green. When you take the happy and sad opposites and put them together, it creates the tension and excitement that I love.”


Dior x Kenny Scharf | The Selfridges Corner Shop |

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