Scharf Redux

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New York has another Gates project.

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Veteran Pop Art artist Kenny Scharf has been commissioned by an entity called the Gatescapes Project to decorate dozens of roll-down storefront shutters around New York. What sounds like an alternative project for the pioneer Pop Art and graffiti artist is in fact, something of an eye-popping ad campaign.  Gatescapes is a unit of Mediacy, which brags that it is “using locked security gates as illuminated billboards, giving companies an eye-popping, street-level branding opportunity.” Clients like Disney are paying for monthlong display on gates at costs of about $1,000 to $1,800. “The gates also supply links to social media, via barcoded technology placed aside the images,” according to Mediacy. Chelsea’s Anonymous Gallery is curating the project, called “The Street Gallery.”

The soon-to-be-ubiquitous vivid commissions are just one part of the artist’s current work. Last week, he painted a mural at Chelsea eatery B.E.S. (which threw him a birthday party in thanks) and recently did a Houston Street public art mural.

Featured in the Whitney Biennial as far back as 1985, Mr. Scharf has done album covers (for the B-52s) and designed part of the infamous Tunnel nightclub. His career is having a renaissance as graffiti gets taken more seriously. The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art will open the first major look at graffiti (rechristened “the street-art movement”) next April. The exhibition includes works by Mr. Scharf.


Scharf Redux