Kenny Scharf's 250 Spray-Painted Faces in "MOODZ" @ Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles
For an artist whose shiny, dayglo work is a joyous, effervescent overstatement, it was a bit of understatement when he recently shrugged and declared that he’s been making emojis for years—1981 to be exact. That’s typical, self-deprecating Kenny Scharf. Yes, apart from sculpture, performance, video, fashion and street art, he paints, and those bright, expressive round faces are not single-expression stamped yellow tic-tacs. 250 orbicular paintings literally shine through October 31, 2020, in a show called Moodz at Jeffrey Deitch’s Los Angeles gallery.
Like the proverbial man in the moon, Moodz is deceiving. The smile beguile, but glance up again, and that same face is sneaky or scowling. Depending on the light, the angle, time of day (the tides!) faces reflect through phases and feelings, and Scharf paints them all in a throbbing, multi-colored disco ball of emotions. This from an artist who created Cosmic Caverns in New York and Karbomz in Los Angeles, who shared an apartment with Keith Haring is now a doting grandfather. That’s a lot of experience, and Scharf’s mood lighting always starts with a welcome. Like his beloved Jetsons and Flintstones, while his multi-layered art offers fast food for thought, the message invariably offers hope for humanity.
“I want to bring art into everyday life. If you're just walking down the street and confronted by something that might change your day—it might inspire you.” Definitely time for some levitation and get moonstruck by Moodz at Jeffrey Deitch.