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Inside Kenny Scharf's "Cosmic Cavern"

Added by Zev Eisenberg on June 29 2011, at 6:43 pm
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  • Kenny Scharf painting a faceGay pride weekend kicked off with a celebratory cheer on Friday as the state passed the legalization of equal marriage for all! What better way to celebrate than to head to Kenny Scharf’s wild East Williamsburg basement and party it up with one of the world’s most renowned street artist? Scharf’s psychedelic murals coat city walls throughout the United States (most recently, his mural on Houston Street in New York was replaced by a less striking work by Chinese artist Liu Bolin). Playing off space creatures and popular cartoons like the Jetsons and Flintstones, Scharf’s iconic works are instantly recognizable. But even if you are well versed in his work, one step into his “Cosmic Cavern” will take you on a trip like never before. Greeting you upon entry was Mr. Scharf with a brush in his hand, covered in blue paint and ready to create a masterwork made especially for you to take home – on your face. With a flare of his hand, the artist Cosmic Cavernsquiggled fluorescent paint on everyone’s mug that walked on by. The paint glowed brightly against the black-lit room, while an orgy of colorful objects suspended from the ceiling. Along the walls shining brightly were murals hand painted by Scharf of eerie monsters and cartoony characters. The party originated between Scharf and his close friend/roommate famed artist Keith Haring in the late 80’s. It was called the “Cosmic Closet”, as the disco installation was in fact installed inside their Time Square closet. The current soiree takes place in a space well over 1,000 square feet, filled with rave-esq dancers and nightlife personalities. What had not changed was the music, with Motown and disco hits blasting and spun by fellow host Scott Ewalt. The back room walls, with a bar, were caked in aluminum foil, making one feel like they were inside a spacecraft. At times Kenny would walk around the room, dance with strangers, laughing and painting bodies along the way. There was not the slightest detection of arrogance in the famed artist’s attitude. A communal feel was brought forth, perhaps heightened by the great news – one that would undoubtedly over-joy the original party partner, Haring if he were still alive today.

Keywords: Kenny ScharfKeith Haring 

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