UNTITLED (MBFL10)

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    Mary Boone Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Cartoons are a genre no longer confined to the realm of children’s entertainment. Its ability to relate to all ages and remain timeless throughout history and contemporary culture is often overlooked. American artist KAWS, taps into this medium by parodying characters from popular cartoons with his distinct artistic aesthetic. The artist draws from the comforting familiarity associated with popular cartoon characters, but also abstracts and reworks them with warped perspectives and frenzied outlines to elicit complex emotional responses from his viewers.

    With ‘X’s for eyes that conventionally represent death in cartoon culture, the present lot shows KAWS utilising his signature motif onto a familiar comic strip beagle character. Well-known for his clean visual imagery, KAWS’s lack of visible brushstrokes and use of a minimalist monochrome palette maintain a graphic quality to the work— stripping the figurative into an abstract surface that directly confronts its viewers. The viewer recognises the lovable beagle character, but its crossed-out eyes and agitated lines assign an entirely new personality to the original cartoon. The repetitive effect from the multiplication of the figure conveys a sense of insecurity— as if the character is attempting to assert its presence by echoing itself.

    Using accessible characters as his main subjects, KAWS opens up the realm of art not only to art critics and intellectuals, but also to a mass audience through popular culture.

  • Catalogue Essay

    卡通已不再是一種僅侷限於兒童娛樂領域的題材。它所具有的讓所有年齡段的人都能理解、和在歷史與當代文化中保持永恆的能力往往被人們忽視。美國藝術家KAWS,通過以其獨特的藝術美學來諧擬流行卡通中的人物,啟用了這一媒介。藝術家從流行卡通人物所給予的令人慰藉之熟悉感中汲取靈感,但同時也以變形的視角和瘋狂的輪廓將它們抽象化與重塑,在觀者身上喚起複雜的情感反應。

    以傳統意義上在卡通文化中代表死亡的「X」作為眼睛,本拍品展示了KAWS將他的標誌性圖案運用到人們熟悉的漫畫中的卡通狗之角色中。以其簡潔的視覺圖像而聞名,KAWS寫意的筆觸和對極簡主義的單色調色塊之使用,為作品保留了平面圖像般的質感—將寫實的圖像剝離成為直面觀者的抽象表面。觀者辨認出了可愛的卡通狗,然而其「X」眼和顛狂的線條則給這個漫畫原型賦予了全新的個性。對人物身形的重複增加所產生的效果傳遞了一種不安全感-彷彿試圖通過回應自身來強調它的存在。

    藉由將人們熟悉的人物作為他主要的創作主題,KAWS不僅向藝術評論家和知識分子;更是通過流行文化為廣大觀眾打開了藝術領域。

  • 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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150

KAWS

UNTITLED (MBFL10)

2015
signed and dated 'KAWS..15' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
188.5 x 154 cm. (74 1/4 x 60 5/8 in.)
Painted in 2015.

Estimate
HK$2,500,000 - 3,500,000 
€291,000-407,000
$321,000-449,000

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Contact Specialist
Danielle So
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 25 November 2019