München, April 2018
Seven Acclaimed Contemporary Artists—Mr. A, Nina Chanel Abney, AVAF, FriendsWithYou, Tomokazu Matsuyama, Rob Pruitt, and Kenny Scharf— Create Peanuts-Inspired Art
Initial Phase of the Multi-Year Project Launches in April with Large-Scale Public Murals in Paris, Seoul, Berlin, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo and Mexico City
In an unprecedented artistic project that offers the gift of Peanuts-inspired contemporary art to all, Peanuts Worldwide announced today the launch of the Peanuts Global Artist Collective: a groundbreaking, global initiative that puts Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang into the hands and imaginations of seven carefully curated artists who will meld their own signature characters, settings and styles with the iconic world of Peanuts. The project’s first phase features large-scale public murals in seven international locations.
The creators include an impressive array of artists who share a deep connection to Peanuts and a long-standing commitment to public art: Mr. A, Nina Chanel Abney, AVAF, FriendsWithYou, Tomokazu Matsuyama, Rob Pruitt, and Kenny Scharf.
“Given their global stature, affinity for Peanuts and passion for public art, we’re thrilled to allow these seven artists to not only interpret but intermingle Sparky’s world with their own,” says Jeannie Schulz, widow of Charles M. Schulz. “This is unique for us, and I think my husband would be pleased that people from all walks of life will have the chance to see his characters through the eyes of some of the most important art makers of our time.”
Moved by the profound influence Schulz had on their own artistic journeys—and their ongoing mission to make art more readily available to people of all ages and nationalities—the artists have created dozens of eye-popping, immersive Peanuts-inspired murals that will be displayed in public venues around the globe this spring.
This initial phase begins on April 8 in Paris’ art-filled 10th Arrondissement, with the debut of a striking Snoopy-centric image by Chanel Abney on the façade of Le Citizen hotel alongside the trendy Canal St. Martin. The project then expands on April 15, opening in Seoul’s Jamsil Lotte World Mall with giant floating digital screens on display by Rob Pruitt. Next, Berlin (Mitte district), New York City (Hudson Square) and San Francisco (Downtown) open simultaneously on April 16 with murals by all seven artists. Tokyo follows with a two-part exhibition that first launches on April 21 at The Snoopy Museum in Roppongi and features pieces by all seven artists. This exhibition will then be extended to digital screens in the Shibuya district starting April 28. On May 3, the tour broadens to Mexico City (inside and surrounding The Mumedi Design Museum) with colorful Carnavelesque murals by AVAF in the city’s buzzing Zócalo.
From 100-Plus to the Final Seven: Peanuts Worldwide and Culture Corps’ Year-Long Search
The Peanuts Global Artist Collective was curated by the esteemed New York-based creative consulting firm Culture Corps. Leading art curators Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen, co-founders of both Culture Corps and the non-profit Art Production Fund, evaluated the work of more than 100 different contemporary artists to find collaborators who could uniquely expand upon the themes from Charles Schulz’s oeuvre.
Based on their recommendations, Peanuts Worldwide finally selected the following seven artists:
“I’ve been a big admirer of Charles Schulz and all the Peanuts characters for a very long time,” says Saraiva. “I have a particular affection for Linus and his blanket. He reminds me of myself when I was a kid.”
Nina Chanel Abney—Combining representation and abstraction, Nina Chanel Abney’s paintings capture the frenetic pace of contemporary culture in subjects as diverse as race, celebrity, religion, politics, sex and art history.
“When I was a kid, I was completely hooked on all the Peanuts movies,” says Abney. “The subtle humor and illustrations always kept me captivated. So to be able to filter Peanuts through my creative lens is a childhood dream come true.”
AVAF—Founded by Brazilian-born artist Eli Sudbrack in 2001, Assume Vivid Astro Focus works in a vast array of media, including painting, drawing, installations, video, sculpture, neons, wallpaper and decals.
“I decided to mostly concentrate in images with the Peanuts characters in “action” (tumbling, running, roller skating, surfing, etc.), since I thought the mash-up of AVAF and Peanuts would create this fantastic energizing/exhilarating/dynamic/electrifying reaction to whoever is exposed to it,” says Sudbrack.
FriendsWithYou—FriendsWithYou is the fine art collaborative of Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III, working collectively since 2002 with the sole purpose of spreading the positive message of Magic, Luck, and Friendship.
“We are very much interested in using popular and culturally relevant visual language to disseminate an optimistic and empowering world outlook,” says Borkson.
“So given the opportunity to use the Peanuts language, that is so ingrained into the modern world culture, we were more than ecstatic,” adds Sandoval.
“How global can this project get? It’s Peanuts, one of the most fun yet challenging icons to play with in making art,” says Matsuyama.
Rob Pruitt—Pruitt is an American post-conceptual artist who works primarily in painting, installation and sculpture. He is perhaps best known for his ongoing series of Pandas as well as Gradient Paintings.
“I have loved Peanuts since I was a kid,” says Pruitt. “In fact, 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.”
Kenny Scharf—Kenny Scharf is an American painter and installation artist, who is associated with the Lowbrow movement and was part of the East Village art scene during the 1980s. He is best known for his visually dynamic work inspired by comic books and pop culture.
“I think as a child I identified most with Charlie Brown,” says Scharf. “He was kind of an outcast and also my next door neighbor was just like Lucy.”
Additional phases of the Collective will feature a number of activations across 2018 and 2019, with more details to be released in the coming months.
“As the granddaughter of Charles Schulz, I feel that the Peanuts Global Artist Collective is a truly thrilling project because it makes contemporary art accessible to everyone—and it shows that the art of Peanuts was the work of someone ahead of his time,” says Lindsey Schulz, an artist who works in installation, sculpture, drawing, and video. “My grandfather once said, ‘Comic strips aren’t art…They are too transient. Art is something so good it speaks to succeeding generations.’ Well, by his own definition, and as the artists in this collective know, Charles Schulz was a true artist who has spoken and will continue to speak to every succeeding generation!”
Phase 1 of The Peanuts Global Artist Collective Tour
Tentative Opening Dates –Subject to Change
Except where noted, the location features murals by all seven artists.
April 8 – Paris
- An abstract, geometric Snoopy by Nina Chanel Abney brightens the canal-side façade of Le Citizen Hotel in the art-filled 10th Arrondissement.
April 15 – Seoul
- Giant floating digital screens by Rob Pruitt touch down at the Jamsil Lotte World Mall.
April 16 – Berlin, New York, San Francisco
- Berlin’s Mitte District is the eye of the art-storm with multiple digital displays.
- The streets of New York’s revitalized Hudson Square come alive with seven breathtaking murals.
- Digital murals enliven San Francisco’s trendy downtown area.
April 21 & 28 – Tokyo
- Tokyo offers a a two-part exhibition that first launches on April 21 at The Snoopy Museum in Roppongi, which will then be extended to digital screens in the Shibuya district starting April 28.
May 3 – Mexico City
- The Mumedi Design Museum and its surrounding outside areas are amplified by AVAF’s colorful Carnavelesque murals in the buzzing Zócalo.
About Peanuts Worldwide
The PEANUTS characters and related intellectual property are owned by Peanuts Worldwide, a subsidiary controlled by DHX Media and the family of Charles M. Schulz.
Where to Find/Follow the Peanuts Global Artist Collective
Hannah Guy, 212-293-8524, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alison Hill, 714-287-2015, email@example.com