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  • Provenance

    Galerie Perrotin, Paris
    Christie's, New York, 1 March 2018, lot 258
    Private Collection, Korea
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Paris, Galerie Perrotin, KAWS: Imaginary Friends, 3 November - 22 December 2012
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, KAWS @ PAFA, 12 October 2013 - 5 January 2014

  • Catalogue Essay

    KAWS is one of the most iconic and prolific artists of our generation. An artist, collector, designer and entrepreneur with a multi-disciplinary artistic practice incorporating painting, sculpture and printmaking, his multi-faceted identity reflects the fluid nature of art, technology and contemporary popular culture.

    Over the years KAWS has created a unique visual language spanning Pop Art, abstract painting, art history and popular culture. His innate understanding of the emotional and intellectual force of images is reflected in the range of inspiration he draws from art history as well as popular culture – for example Bauhaus artist Josef Alber’s experimental abstract works exploring colour interaction and the dynamic schematic compositions of Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein (see for example Modern Painting With Small Bolt, 1967), who also used cartoons as a starting point for his works.

    KAWS also cites the Swedish-American sculptor Claes Oldenburg as one of his favorite artists (KAWS quoted in an interview with The Inquirer, April 11, 2013, online). Like Oldenburg, KAWS established his name creating monumental works based on everyday consumer objects, elevating the banal to the extraordinary. Whilst Oldenburg used telephones, hamburgers, and cake slices, in HALF FULL KAWS draws inspiration from children’s animations, deconstructing familiar outlines and placing the abruptly disconnected elements into saturated, staccato compositions that pulsate with mutinous energy. A dismembered cartoon arm clings to an eye marked with KAWS’s trademark ‘X’, whilst a blood-red paw clutches at a face beneath the shadow of a cartoon figure striding into view.

    Originally exhibited alongside a second painting, HALF EMPTY, KAWS draws upon a common proverbial phrase that conveys the subjectivity inherent to any situation, where pessimism and optimism are equally likely outcomes depending on individual worldviews and personal biases. Placed together, these works represent the two halves of an intensely-coloured, multi-dimensional reality: two ‘X’ eyes, a mouth open in a scream, falling debris, a choice to react with blue-like calmness (HALF FULL) or red-like defensiveness (HALF EMPTY).

    HALF FULL demonstrates an instinctive understanding of the power of symbols in a world continuously in flux:

    “Icons like Mickey, the Simpsons, the Michelin Man and Spongebob exist in a universal way that you forget their origin or even there [sic] narrative, and you just recognize them from the slightest glimpse of their image or sound.”
    (KAWS, quoted in conversation with K. Donoghue, Whitewall, December 2012).

    KAWS’s creations, universally recognised amongst this generation, belong to the same pantheon of iconic characters. KAWS’s work captures the shifting boundaries between the real and virtual, the personal and public, and he continues to work deliberately to reject the air of exclusivity surrounding art, synthesizing elements of high and low culture across all areas of his work. His most recent solo exhibitions include KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (Texas) and the Yuz Museum (Shanghai).

  • Catalogue Essay


    多年來,KAWS創造了一種獨特的視覺語言,涵蓋波普藝術、抽象繪畫、藝術史和流行文化。他對圖像在情感和知性上的影響力,及與生俱來的理解,反映在他從藝術史以及流行文化中所汲取的一系列靈感—比如:包豪斯藝術家約瑟夫·亞伯斯( Josef Albers)探索色彩之間互動的實驗性抽像作品(參見《向方型致敬: 紅色黃銅》,1961年)和在創作初期同樣使用卡通主題的波普藝術家羅伊·李奇登斯坦(Roy Lichtenstein)充滿動態的構圖(參見《現代繪畫小螺栓》,1967年)。

    KAWS同時也提到瑞典裔美國雕塑家克萊斯‧歐登柏格(Claes Oldenburg)是他最喜愛的藝術家之一(來自KAWS在2013年4月11日的在《The Inquirer》的採訪)。像歐登柏格一樣,KAWS使用日常生活中的消費物件來創造其廣受讚譽的作品而聞名,將平淡無奇提升到非凡。歐登柏格使用了電話、漢堡包和蛋糕切片來創作作品,而在《半滿》(HALF FULL)這件作品中 KAWS則是從兒童動畫中汲取靈感,將人們熟悉的輪廓進行解構,並將驟然斷開的元素置入飽和、斷續的構圖中,讓畫面充斥著躁動的能量。一隻肢解的卡通手臂緊緊依附在一只標有KAWS標誌性「X」的眼睛上,而一隻血紅色的爪子則用力抓住一張躍入畫面的卡通人物陰影下的臉。

    最初與另一幅繪畫《半空》(HALF EMPTY)一起展出,KAWS在作品中借鑒了一個常用的諺語詞彙,傳達了主觀性在任何情境中都不可避免,悲觀主義和樂觀主義有著同等的機率,取決於不同人的世界觀和個人偏見。放在一起看,這兩件作品代表了一個色彩強烈、多元維度的現實的兩半:兩隻「X」眼,張開尖叫的嘴巴,墜落中的殘肢,是選擇與藍色的平靜(《半滿》)還是與紅色般的戒備(《半空》)進行互動。


    「例如米奇、辛普森一家、米其林人和海綿寶寶這些標誌以一種普遍的方式存在,以至於你會忘記它們的起源甚至是[原文]故事,只要對它們的形像或聲音輕輕一瞥,就能認出它們。」(B. Donnelly,引自與K. Donoghue的對談,Whitewall,2012年12月)。

    KAWS創造出的那些被這一代人普遍認可的形象,屬於同一批標誌性的人物。KAWS的作品捕捉了真實與虛擬、個人與公眾之間不斷變化的界限,並且他持續刻意去排斥藝術所存在的排他性,將高低兩種文化元素同時融入到作品的各個方面。他最近的個展包括在沃斯堡現代藝術博物館(德克薩斯州)和余德耀美術館(上海)展出的《KAWS:始於終點》( KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS)。

  • Artist Bio


    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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signed and dated 'KAWS..12' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
304.8 x 243.8 cm. (120 x 95 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2012.

HK$5,500,000 - 7,500,000 

sold for HK$10,950,000

Contact Specialist

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

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 May 2019