Kenny Scharf, the longtime Brooklyn-based Pop artist whose work currently graces the coveted mural space at Bowery and Houston recently wound up on the bad side of the city’s graffiti community. Not only did he recruit a friend to fix his mural after it was bombed last week (before and after shots above), but Scharf’s non-Christo-inspired “Gates Project” to paint over tags on businesses’ security gates around the city isn’t going over well with graffiti artists.
Scharf, in conjunction with Anonymous Gallery and the Mediacy Group’s Gatescapes Program, has painted temporary murals in his signature cartoon-inspired style on the security gates of a handful of Downtown shops, in some cases going over pre-existing tags and graffiti with apparent disregard for the street art honor code.
A picture (at right) of Scharf painting over a piece by Deno while wearing UGGs and tight jeans generated some animosity from commenters over on ANIMAL, prompting the artist himself to take to the comments section with an earnest, humble and totally ignored apology:
this is a valid point about going over tags for the gates project. i apologise for not considering this when i painted that gate. that was actually my first gate i painted (only 5 so far and 3 painted over the next day) the other gates were untouched when i painted them. although i think a tag is different than a huge mural it is a valid point and also if you see what the final painting was that i did on that gate you can see that i utilized what was there before thereby taking into account what was there before. i did not think about that the person who put that up wouldnt like it and for that im admitting my mistake. i should have thought about it. i never go over peoples tags in the street and i should have considered that even though it was sanctioned. (the gate was painted over by the store owners the next day) as far as the project itself, im not out to do it to sell my canvases i honestly love to do it and hope i can offer some inspiration and bring something good into peoples lives. i can only hope that. im sure most of you would love the offer of painting gates all over the city. do you blame me for agreeing to do a great project like this? and yes those new jeans i bought were too small and i know uggs are ug but it was cold! and please stop the threats im not out to f anyone up i know the world out there is fd up and people are angry but i honestly want to change that perception and make things better.