7. Kenny Scharf on the East River and in the Bronx
Image of NEVERENDINGGOGO mural and TotemOh by artist Kenny Scharf. Image via NYC Parks/Malcolm Pinckney
Friends of the East River Esplanade and New York City Parks commissioned artist Kenny Scharf to create a banner and accompanying mural on a brick column at 116th Street and FDR Drive, but the banner was stolen a few days after installation. TotemOh (far right in the photo) shows Scharf’s recognizable cartoon-inspired style. The commissioned artworks are part of a program to restore and reinvent this portion of the esplanade, attracting more people to the waterfront’s running paths, bike paths, and fishing piers.
The banner entitled NEVERENDINGOGO, spanned over sixty feet overlooking the East River, and corresponded with an exhibition of the artist’s work at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor. The program “Public Art on the Esplanade in East Harlem” has had a bumpy start since its beginning in 2015, when its first installation, East River Flows, sponsored by the West Harlem Art Fund, was vandalized. Jennifer Ratner, from Friends of the Esplanade, told Untapped Cities today that the group hopes to be able to reprint the banner and have it back up along the waterfront within the next few weeks.
In May 2016, Untapped Cities found Scharf working on a commissioned mural in the Bronx. The 400-foot mural (below), just south of the Cross Bronx Expressway on Third Avenue, was commissioned by Krinos Foods for the side of their building.
Kenny Scharf working on Bronx mural commissioned by Krinos Foods