A painting of cartoonish figures in an abstract cloudy background.

Kenny Scharf, When the Worlds Collide, 1984


Kenny Scharf: My name’s Kenny Scharf. This painting is kind of my idea of showing how everything can exist at the same time. There’s peace. There’s chaos. Pretty much everything can exist together. I always felt very strongly about having fun in creating art, and also in conveying that sense of fun and including the viewer in on it.

I made up a manifesto back in ‘81 where I define the term “Pop Surrealism.” I kind of came to the conclusion that because of my very early bombardment, by the media, of saturation with advertisements and television and everything, that my subconscious was filled with pop imagery.

I’ve had a long fascination with science fiction, the movies from that time usually stem from the fear of nuclear catastrophe, which is, you know, the greatest threat of all. It’s such an unfathomable, scary thing that I naturally think about things like that.

This painting, actually, I painted it in my very good friend Keith Haring’s studio. I had no studio at the time, I don’t remember why, and he was away and he lent me his studio. And that’s why, if you see on the bottom right there’s my version of a Keith Haring baby on a little pedestal and that’s my little thanks to him for letting me use his studio to do the painting.

Kenny Scharf, When the Worlds Collide, 1984



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