KAWS’s paintings, drawings, and sculptures are filled with half-glimpsed figures that appear to be in the process of being dissolved. It is perhaps fitting then that his first vinyl toy was a Companion figure whose plushy surface texture immediately betrayed its own artificiality: KAWS created it by dissecting an old stuffed toy, meticulously skinning it and then sewing the pieces back together. There are also memories from his childhood, playing with toys such as Handy Dandy, the kids’ cleaning vacuum.
KAWS has since created a variety of individualized Companions: four-legged ones, ones that walk on all fours like animals or insects. He also produced a group that were mutilated and flayed: in one example, cartoonish eyeballs and a nose are left protruding from their exposed flesh; in another, a caricature of KAWS himself is shown holding aloft a pair of disembodied breasts which dangle above where the legs should have been.
“I was developing them for more than three years before I showed any to the world,” he says.
KAWS is an artist, based in New Jersey. He makes paintings and sculptures that take many forms, from his trademark “Companions” to versions of Mickey Mouse and “Flintstones” characters. Trained as a painter at the Art Students League in New York, he debuted his art on the street while still a student by putting up images of snowmen that were made to look like stencils. In 2000 he created his first two-dimensional work using felt-tip pens and marker pens to create his iconic characters.
To know more about KAWS and their astonishing pieces, visit Shophomeless.com for more details.