Pop artist Kenny Scharf paints a new art installation at The Bluffs
Story by Shanee Edwards | Photos by EJM Equities
If you’ve visited BFF recently, you might have noticed he has some new “friends.”
BFF — the electric blue, 15,000 pound, 26-foot tall sculpture with x’d-out eyes — was created by the artist KAWS and stands in the EJM Equities courtyard at The Bluffs at Playa Vista. Behind BFF, however, is a new art installation from street artist Kenny Scharf, who’s known for his psychedelic, graffiti-inspired artwork.
Gone are the trellises supporting ivy that was struggling to grow on the outside of the parking garage. Now there are nearly three-dozen colorful, impish characters who appear to be racing each other. The images are cute and comical, if not a tad mischievous.
But installing any art behind such an imposing sculpture like BFF created a bit of a conundrum for Scharf. Should the artist address BFF in his own work or simply ignore it?
“In the end,” says Scharf, “I kind of did both. The figures run north and south like on a highway, so they’re not really paying attention to the sculpture. But at the same time I thought about the color — it’s so blue!”
The artist says he limited the amount of blue in his own artwork, but didn’t eliminate it entirely. Neon yellows and oranges as well as radiant reds dominate this cast of funny, whimsical figures. One vibrant pink character appears to have crashed into the parking garage’s overhang. The pink character’s x’d out eyes seem to be the only reference to BFF, but the playful tone of each installation certainly compliments the other and creates a fun vibe for the otherwise average-looking business courtyard.
Scharf says his favorite part of the project was that it was close to home.
“My house is very close to the site. It’s fun for me because I’m used to doing these projects in another city, staying at a hotel. It’s great to do one near by.”
He’s hoping to add a few more embellishments to the installation.
“I have this idea to do a couple of those flying characters — not on the garage, but across the way in random places. Like they flew off and have gone places they’re not supposed to be. I’m doing it for free just because it would be really cool.”
Scharf says he’s waiting for permission from property owner Edward Minskoff, who will decide next time he’s in Los Angeles.
If you’re a fan of Scharf’s art you’ll be excited to know he will be doing a mural at the new Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, the future home of the Rams and Chargers that’s expected to open next year. Details of what the mural will look like are under wraps because Scharf says he never plans out what he’s going paint.
“I usually make it up on the spot. It has a lot to do with the site itself. It could come from whatever inspiration I might have that day,” he says.