FIN STREAM REVIEW: Bonkers artist Kenny Scharf an interesting subject in a cliche doc


The life and works of Kenny Scharf are bright, colourful and complement each other with a brilliant perfection.

Scharf — who came to New York City in the 1980’s and soon made friends and began painting — is a one-of-a-kind artist with a magnetism to him that’s unreal.

His trials and tribulations, friendship with Keith Haring and Jean Michel Basquiat, as well as his overall laissez-faire, devil-may-care approach to life are all chronicled here.

And yet, for a man who moved from canvas to street art, who made every painting loud, and who lived through the AIDs epidemic, the economic depression and numerous setbacks with a smile, this documentary shockingly has little bite.

The visuals are stunning, and director/writers Max Basch and Malia Scharf clearly have vision. But their narrative structure is off-kilter, and doesn’t make for a great viewing experience.

It’s neither bad nor as enthusiastically, brilliantly vivid as Scharf’s colourful life and paintings would demand a documentary to be. Overall, it’s just mid-tones and not much happening, which seems the antithesis of what a Scharf doc should be.

2.5/5 Stars

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