KAWS’ sophisticated visual language is the product of a painstaking process in which he firsthand sketches his figures then digitally modifying them through Illustrator before painting them for better projection and adding his characteristic “X” eyes. Accomplice, for example, necessitates a more time-consuming procedure since the artist must interpret his idea in the round using 3D modeling software. When blown up to life size, the current lot makes a humorous reference to the historical tradition of art and figurative sculptures, which dates back to Egyptian sarcophagi. The outcome is an adult-size toy that injects comedy into more profound concepts of life and death.
KAWS defies traditional notions of fine art, brilliantly blurring the boundary between art and business, and is inspired by the Pop sensibility of artists such as Tom Wesselmann and Claes Oldenburg. KAWS began his career as a youngster in the New York street art movement, where he produced “forced collaborations” with fashion advertising found in phone booths, combining images of Kate Moss and Christy Turlington with his own trademark figures. Although his dual personal evokes the typical comic book hero, the Williamsburg-based artist says that the codename “KAWS” has no special meaning.
The artist’s early graffiti exploration led him to Tokyo, where he became immersed in the world of limited-edition of clothes and toys. While in Japan, KAWS was able to experiment with crossover projects, allowing him to reach a wider audience with his unique look. He mentions Takashi Murakami as an artist who has impacted his own work, both in terms of his meticulous attitude and his commercialization. “I just want to produce things that no one is ever too stupid to comprehend,” says KAWS, emphasizing the democratic character of his work.To know more about this artwork, visit shophomeless.com.