KAWS - New Now: The Katayama Collection New York Tuesday, September 19, 2017 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, The Encyclopedia of Masamichi Katayama "Life is hard... Let's go shopping.", April 8 - June 25, 2017, cat. no. 105, p. 96 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Painted in 2000, Untitled (BB2) is part of Katayama’s extensive collection of fine art by KAWS, which includes sculptures, editioned works and numerous other paintings. The artist’s signature style involves the reworking of many familiar icons often with X-covered eyes, such as Mickey Mouse, SpongeBob SquarePants and the Michelin Man, who is closely cropped yet still recognizable in the present work. The sinister motif of the X adopted by KAWS allows each of his cartoon characters to undergo a sardonic mutation, clearly evident here. Deftly operating at the intersection of street art and commercialism with a decidedly Pop sensibility, KAWS’ body of work has become titanic in its own right.

  • Artist Biography


    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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Untitled (BB2)

signed, titled and dated "KAWS..BB2 2000" on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
68 x 48 in. (172.7 x 121.9 cm.)
Painted in 2000.

$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $106,250

Contact Specialist
Rebekah Bowling
Head of Sale
New York
+ 1 212 940 1250

New Now: The Katayama Collection

New York Auction 19 September 2017