COMPANION

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Japan

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rendered in a miniature scale and executed in 2001, the present lot is one of the first versions of the artist’s trademark COMPANION figures to be made in bronze after the release of the COMPANION vinyl toy in 1999 that was created in collaboration with Japan’s Bounty Hunter. After graduating from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1996, KAWS made a trip to Japan where he stumbled across streetwear contemporaries such as Nigo, Stash and Hiroshi Fujiwara, and began to look to vinyl toys as a source of inspiration. Featuring the signature ‘X-eyes’, the ears and head of a skull and positioning the figure in a squat, KAWS still manages to convey toy-like plushness in his work despite its medium. As he explained, speaking of his artistic practice of blurring the line between toys and sculptures, “to me they involve the same thought process, so it’s funny that when I work big in bronze, it’s called a sculpture, but something I do that’s small and plastic is called a toy” (KAWS, quoted in Carlo McCormick, “From the Streets to TV to Fine Art Galleries, KAWS Is Everywhere’, Paper, 4 November 2013, online.) A bold statement to the classical medium of sculpture, COMPANION confronts the viewer with a character that is arguably the most recognisable yet is imbued with a sense of the uncanny through the skull motif. At once saccharine and peculiar, KAWS challenges cultural boundaries, tapping into the nostalgia of universally cherished cartoon characters and injecting them with emotional undertones. A rare and early work among the artist’s body of sculptural works, and from an edition of only five, COMPANION comprises the ultimate ‘prototype’ which has since attracted a cult of avid collectors that have followed KAWS from the streets into the major galleries and museum exhibitions worldwide.

  • Catalogue Essay

    本次上拍作品是2001年所創作的縮小尺寸版銅雕,為藝術家最知名的「同伴」系列最早創作的幾個版本之一,其原型「同伴」塑膠玩偶始於1999年與日本 Bounty Hunter 合作時推出。KAWS 於1996年從紐約的視覺藝術學院畢業,隨後去了一趟日本,接觸到 Nigo、Stash 和藤原浩等街頭潮流設計界的當代巨頭,並開始視塑膠玩偶為靈感來源。玩偶有著 X 形眼睛,骷髏耳朵和腦袋,蹲伏姿態,儘管媒材不同,KAWS 依然令它有如玩具般的長絨毛感。他在談到自己的藝術時提到要抹去玩具和雕塑間的界限,「對我來說,它們有著相同的思想過程,所以如果我做了一件大型的銅雕材質作品,就被稱為雕塑,做了一件小的塑料作品就是玩具的話,其實很可笑。」(KAWS,錄於 Carlo McCormick,< 從街頭到媒體至藝廊,KAWS 無所不在>, 《Paper》,2013年11月4日,網路文章)作品《同伴》對雕塑這種古典媒材來說就像是個大膽的宣言,觀者面對極具認知度的角色,但它通過骷髏圖案蒙上了一層不尋常的感覺。它既甜蜜又怪異,KAWS 挑戰著文化界限,觸及普世人們懷念的卡通人物,為它們注入內涵情感。此作是藝術家雕塑作品中少見的早期作品,該版僅有五件。《同伴》包含著終極的標準原型,吸引著一群熱衷的收藏家,從街頭到重要畫廊和博物館展覽都一直跟隨 KAWS 的腳步。

  • Artist Bio

    KAWS

    American • 1974

    To understand the work of KAWS is to understand his roots in the skateboard and graffiti crews of New York City. Brian Donnelly chose KAWS as his moniker to tag city streets beginning in the 1990s, and quickly became a celebrated standout in the scene. Having swapped spray paint for explorations in fine art spanning sculpture, painting and collage, KAWS has maintained a fascination with classic cartoons, including Garfield, SpongeBob SquarePants and The Simpsons, and reconfigured familiar subjects into a world of fantasy. 

    Perhaps he is most known for his larger-than-life fiberglass sculptures that supplant the body of Mickey Mouse onto KAWS' own imagined creatures, often with 'x'-ed out eyes or ultra-animated features. However, KAWS also works frequently in neon and vivid paint, adding animation and depth to contemporary paintings filled with approachable imagination. There is mass appeal to KAWS, who exhibits globally and most frequently in Asia, Europe and the United States.  

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KAWS

COMPANION

2001
signed, dated and numbered 'KAWS..01 2/5' on the underside
bronze
20 x 10 x 5 cm. (7 7/8 x 3 7/8 x 1 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2001, this work is number 2 from an edition of 5.

Estimate
HK$500,000 - 700,000 
€56,800-79,600
$64,100-89,700

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Contact Specialist
Isaure de Viel Castel
Head of Department, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

Charlotte Raybaud
Head of Day Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 May 2019