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KAWS

American  •  b. 1974

Biography

KAWS (b. 1974, Jersey City, New Jersey; lives and works in Brooklyn, New York) engages audiences beyond the museums and galleries in which he regularly exhibits. His prolific body of work straddles the worlds of art and design to include paintings, murals, graphic and product design, street art, and large-scale sculptures. Over the last two decades KAWS has built a successful career with work that consistently shows his formal agility as an artist, as well as his underlying wit, irreverence, and affection for our times. His refined graphic language revitalizes figuration with both big, bold gestures and playful intricacies.

 

KAWS often appropriates and draws inspiration from pop culture animations, forming a unique artistic vocabulary across mediums. Admired for his larger-than-life sculptures and hardedge paintings that emphasize line and color, KAWS’ cast of hybrid cartoon characters are the strongest examples of his exploration of humanity. As seen in his collaborations with global brands, KAWS’ imagery possesses a sophisticated humor and reveals a thoughtful interplay with consumer products. With their broad appeal, KAWS’ artworks are highly sought-after by collectors inside and outside of the art world, establishing him as a uniquely prominent artist and influence in today’s culture. 

Insights

  • KAWS has exhibited extensively in renowned institutions including solo exhibitions at— The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2019); Fire Station, Qatar Museums, Doha, Qatar (2019); Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Michigan (2019), Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis, Missouri (2017); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2016) which traveled to the Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China (2017); Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Longside Gallery, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom (2016); Brooklyn Museum, New York (2015); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Málaga, Spain (2014); Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas (2013); Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia (2013); High Art Museum, Atlanta, Georgia (2011); and Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2011). He will be the subject of a major survey exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in the spring of 2021.

"I just want to make something good and not worry about how it's labeled."

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