Kenny Scharf: In Absence of Myth


Kenny Scharf’s life story is the equivalent of riding a roller coaster. Raised in Southern California, this king of cool eventually packed his bags for New York City, where he became an integral part of an underground East Village art scene that changed the world. His graffiti inspired paintings, wild performances, and sculptures earned him an international reputation for making art accessible. This meteoric rise involved parties, drugs, sex, and of course, rock ’n’ roll. Yet there were many unexpected twists and turns, from marriage and family to tragedy and depression. With the shifting trends in the art world, Kenny fell from grace and was overshadowed by his deceased and mythologized fellow artists Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. After moving to Florida to raise a family and eventually returning to California and New York, Kenny Scharf’s sporadic, adventurous, and chaotic lifestyle is unimaginable, humbling, yet ultimately redeeming. Patched together like one of his customized art pieces, this official biography provides a front seat to the glamour, the gossip, and the story behind the artist considered to be the grandfather of street art, whose tenacity and spirit have brought him back to his rightful place in the limelight.

SKU: 978-1-937359-91-1 Category:

Author's Bio

Dr. G. James Daichendt is Dean of the Arts and Humanities and professor of art history at Point Loma Nazarene University in Southern California. A graduate of Columbia, Harvard, and Boston universities, Dr. Daichendt is the chief editor of the academic journal Visual Inquiry: Learning and Teaching Art and is an art critic for KCET, the nation’s largest independent public television station. Recent books include: Shepard Fairey Inc., Artist/Professional/ Vandal (2013); Stay Up! Los Angeles Street Art (2012); Artist Scholar: Reflections on Writing and Research (2011); and Artist Teacher: A Philosophy for Creating and Teaching (2010).

Additional information

Dimensions 12.5 × 9 in
Number of Pages


Published On

October 25, 2016

Written By

G. James Daichendt

Foreword By

Ann Magnuson


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