BORN TO BEND

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, KAWS @ PAFA, 12 October 2013 - 5 January 2014 (another example exhibited)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I’ve been doing bronze sculptures where I auto-body-paint them different colours. Those materials are traditional. They are within the history of fine art.” KAWS, Interview Magazine, 27 April 2010, online.

    Rendered in a sophisticated grey-scale palette, BORN TO BEND features the artist’s beloved and iconic “BENDY” character with its signature X eyes, the protruding crossbones as ears and squiggly tail wrapped around a stark silhouette of the quintessential American childhood icon “Gumby”. BORN TO BEND perfectly demonstrates how KAWS re-contextualises the role of mass culture in art, based as it is on the BENDY character that initially took the form of small-scale figurines starting in 2003. What began as toy versions radically expanded in the past decade to become different sized works of sculpture, deliberately aimed at dismantling the distinctions between high and low art. As KAWS explained, speaking of his strategy of blurring the lines between toys and sculptures, “to me they involve the same thought process, so it’s funny that when I work in big 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.) One of the artist’s most recognisable figures, another version of BORN TO BEND was a key highlight that adorned the main entrance of the historic landmark building of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) in 2013 and was shown at the artist’s first UK solo exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2016, as well as KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth the same year. Expressing the unique duality that encapsulates the allure of KAWS’s work, BORN TO BEND stimulates a sense of nostalgia and delight.

  • Catalogue Essay

    「我一直在創作銅像作品,並以汽車烤漆方式塗成不同顏色。這些媒材都是傳統的,屬於藝術史範疇。」(KAWS,《採訪雜誌》,2010年4月27日,網路文章)

    《天生彎曲》呈精緻的灰色調,是藝術家最喜愛也最具代表性的「BENDY」角色,有著標誌性的 X 形眼睛,交叉骨頭耳朵和彎曲的尾巴,圍著美國兒童經典角色「Gumby」的僵直造型。《天生彎曲》完好展現 KAWS 為大眾文化在藝術中的重新定位,建基於自2003年起以小玩偶形式開始的「BENDY」角色。一開始的玩具版本在過去十幾年間徹底演進了,成為不同尺寸的雕塑作品,刻意除掉所謂高階與低階藝術的區別。如 KAWS 所解釋,在他嘗試抹去玩具與雕塑之間的界限時,「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)藝術家最具標誌性的創作角色之一,也是《天生彎曲》的另一個版本,於2013年在賓州藝術學院歷史性建築大門前作重點展覽,並於2016年亮相於藝術家在約克郡雕塑公園舉辦的首個英國個展,以及同年在沃斯堡現代美術館舉辦的「KAWS: 始於終點」展覽。《天生彎曲》展現出 KAWS 作品中最獨特迷人的雙重性質,激發觀者的懷舊與欣喜之情。

  • 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

BORN TO BEND

2013
signed, numbered and dated 'KAWS.. 13 9/10' on the underside
painted bronze
41.9 x 27.3 x 15.2 cm. (16 1/2 x 10 3/4 x 5 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2013, this work is number 9 from an edition of 10.

Estimate
HK$800,000 - 1,200,000 
€90,900-136,000
$103,000-154,000

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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