DescriptionKAWS (b. 1974)
Untitled (four works), 1999
Acrylic on canvas
16 x 16 inches (40.6 x 40.6 cm) (each)
Each signed and dated verso: KAWS 99
One inscribed verso: Buck [heart] Carney
Private collection, Paris;
Private collection, New York.
An influential member of a new generation of street artists, KAWS' work is a powerful example of contemporary visual culture. Growing up in Jersey City, Brian Donnelly began to graffiti on billboards and advertising posters in the late 1980's. By 1995, at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, he started combining street art and commercial design. The KAWS has since gone on to produce limited edition toys and street wear, to great acclaim.
In the present work, KAWS captures his iconic Companion figures in full force: The artist's playful repetition of the Companion in four colors references the Pop sensibilities of Andy Warhol. Yet, the cartoonish imagery and surreal depictions look to the illustrative work of Peter Saul, and the creations of H. C. Westermann. The crossed out "X" eyes, considered to be the artist's signature, add emotion (or lack thereof) to the work. Utilizing his signature motif, KAWS is able to mutate and add feeling to the works. The humorous cartoon nature of the compositions is juxtaposed with the more sinister skull shaped heads. Whether intentional or not, the contradictory effect asks the viewer to seek out and answer question about life and death.
Some of the artist's best-known works include his Companion figures of Mickey Mouse, Michelin Man, and Snoopy. Bridging together Pop, Street and Comic art alongside his commercial merchandising, KAWS has become one of the art world's most influential brands.
Each of these works appear to be in overall good condition. Framed Dimensions 21 X 21 Inches
*Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.
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