Kenny Scharf, Not Bansky, “Car Bombs” in Southampton

Banksy may be getting all the street-artist buzz in New York City these days, but here in the Hamptons it seems Kenny Scharf is king.

In what looks to be a perfect coincidence, not one, but two automobiles featuring Scharf’s art were parked on Main Street in Southampton at around 3 p.m. this Thursday, November 7. The artist painted the red Mini Cooper and white work van in July and August as part of his ongoing “Car Bombs” project on Instagram. At the time, Scharf was staying at East Hampton gallerist Eric Firestone’s home while he was in town for his Amerikulture exhibition (from July 26 – August 12) with Tseng Kwong Chi at Eric Firestone Gallery (ericfirestonegallery.com).

One of two cars painted by Kenny Scharf in Southampton Thursday

Van painted by Kenny Scharf in Southampton Thursday, Photo: Dennis Rodriguez

A representative at the gallery said Scharf painted the vehicles at Firestone’s home, explaining that Scharf often puts out a call for cars to “bomb” when he travels. After receiving contact info from willing fans, a  few lucky people are invited to meet him and have their cars painted and documented on Instagram.

Kenny Scharf's Hamptons Car Bombs on Instagram: kennyscharf

Kenny Scharf’s Hamptons Car Bombs on Instagram: kennyscharf

Scharf’s Instagram account, kennyscharf, is peppered with “Car Bomb” photo, including several in the Hamptons. The red Mini convertible is featured, freshly painted with a light blue character, in two shots dated July 30. The owner, “Lea from the hamptons,” poses with her car and the art, which Scharf calls “Tatoos for your car!” in both photographs.

Kenny Scharf's Hamptons Car Bombs on Instagram: kennyscharf

Kenny Scharf’s Hamptons Car Bombs on Instagram: kennyscharf

Scharf’s Instagram photos of the white van, with a large, red half-moon shaped character painted on the side, and a face painted on the back, is dated August 6. One caption identifies the owner (who posed with her children) as “Elizabeth from e. Hampton and her cute clan,” while the other reads only, “No tailgating.”

Eric Firestone and family with Mercedes 450 SL Car Bomb by Kenny Scharf

Eric Firestone and kids with Kenny Scharf Car Bomb, Instagram

In total Scharf’s Instagram shows 11 cars painted in the Hamptons, including Firestone’s white Mercedes 450 SL convertible, painted with a purple character.

The rep from Eric Firestone Gallery said there was no particular reason why two of the 11 cars were in Southampton on Thursday. She also noted that Scharf is currently in Los Angeles with his daughter Malia Scharf, who is shooting a feature length documentary about him.

Keep track of all Kenny Scharf’s Car Bombs, follow him on Instagram!

Visit kennyscharf.com to learn more about the artist and his work.

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