Good grief, Charlie Brown is graffiti

NEW YORK • Kenny Scharf's oozing, vividly coloured cartoon figures have covered billboards in downtown Manhattan for decades.

Now, his whimsical psychedelia will appear in New York in the forms of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang, as part of a new public art project taking Charles M. Schulz's characters to cities around the world.

The project was commissioned by Peanuts Worldwide, which oversees all representations of Schulz's indelible comics.

Seven artists were chosen to form the Peanuts Global Artist Collective and interpret the characters.

Nina Chanel Abney, for example, has created a digitalised, geometric rendering of Snoopy and Woodstock riding skateboards.

Provocateur Rob Pruitt, known for startling juxtapositions, has placed Snoopy next to a panda bear, while graffiti artist Andre Saraiva has Snoopy interacting with Saraiva's signature stick-figure doodle.

The other artists are Tomokazu Matsuyama, duo FriendsWithYou (Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III) and collective AVAF, founded by Eli Sudbrack.

"I think I taught myself how to draw by copying Peanuts characters and strips over and over, especially the details - the grass, the snow, the wobbly lines," Pruitt said in a statement.

The murals, about 4.5m wide by 3m tall, will go up on office buildings in Hudson Square on April 16 and will be celebrated with a walking tour that begins in the neighbourhood at the Children's Museum of the Arts at 5pm.

The murals will remain up for three months, with similar projects going up in Paris, Seoul, Berlin, San Francisco, Tokyo and Mexico City.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 04, 2018, with the headline 'Good grief, Charlie Brown is graffiti'. Print Edition | Subscribe