UNTITLED (MBFI10)
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  • Condition Report

  • Provenance

    Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    'I think Peanuts is part of being a kid in America. Whether it’s the Great Pumpkin on Halloween or just seeing a different cartoon in the paper, it’s sort of around everywhere.' - KAWS

    As one of the most prolific and innovative artists of our present age, KAWS has experienced a meteoritic ascent to international acclaim for his legendary practice that has avidly caught the attention of prestigious institutions, collectors, and industry giants worldwide, including a devoted following of over 3 million people on Instagram. Having vehemently established his position in the global art historical canon, the American artist is widely celebrated for exploring the visual language of mass media and popular culture in his oeuvre, building a unique visual lexicon through his playful and subversive compositions that has become singular in its own right.


    KAWS
    UNTITLED (MBFI10) (detail), 2014
    Drawing from the nostalgic potency cartoon heroes, KAWS appropriates characters from popular culture, inventively modifying their relatable and timeless appearances with grungy, brushstroke-free line and a monochromatic palette. In this case, UNTITLED (MBFI10) depicts Charlie Brown, the endearing protagonist of Charles M. Schultz’s comic strip Peanuts, which ran from 1950 to 2000 and amassed a readership of 355 million in 75 countries. Having expressed how he ‘found it weird how infatuated a cartoon could become in people’s lives, the impact it could have’ (KAWS, quoted in Murray Healy, ‘Graffiti Artist Turned Gallery Artist Turned Art Toy Maker: KAWS’, Pop, February 2007, pp. 260-265, online), KAWS employs the pervasive universality of Charlie Brown’s image to perfectly embody the notions so central to the artist’s exploration.


    Charles M. Schulz
    Signed drawing of Charlie Brown
    Reworking the quintessential cartoon imagery with his distinctive signifiers and trademarks, including giving it the signature KAWS treatment of crossed-out eyes that draw to mind the depiction of cartoon figures after they have drunk from a vial of poison, KAWS assigns a new personality to the character that is so well-known and loved. As his meticulously executed, shaped canvas asks viewers to contemplate the dialogue between high-brow and low-brow art, and its relationship with popular culture, KAWS claims the image of Charlie Brown as his own, instantly elevating his cartoon status to that of fine art.

  • Artist Bio

    KAWS

    American • 1974

    KAWS (b. 1974, Jersey City, New Jersey; lives and works in Brooklyn, New York) is renowned for his prolific body of work that 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’s cast of hybrid cartoon characters are the strongest examples of his exploration of humanity. As seen in his collaborations with global brands, the artist’s imagery possesses a sophisticated humor and reveals a thoughtful interplay with consumer products. With their broad appeal, KAWS’s 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.  

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Property from a Distinguished Private American Collection

KAWS

UNTITLED (MBFI10)

《無題 (MBFI10)》

2014
signed and dated 'KAWS.. 14' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
152.4 x 76.2 cm. (60 x 30 in.)
Painted in 2014.

Estimate
HK$2,000,000 - 3,000,000 
€230,000-345,000
$256,000-385,000

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist
Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art and Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 9 July 2020