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  • Provenance

    Private Collection

  • Catalogue Essay

    Brian Donnelly, better known to contemporary art enthusiasts as KAWS, is a Brooklyn-based artist who, in the last decade, has revolutionised the art world with his large scale sculptures and vibrant paintings, which are deeply rooted in the 1990s street art aesthetics and visual values. KAWS's practice presents some similarities both with the strikingly beautiful aesthetics of Claes Oldenburg and Takashi Murakami, and also his personal fascination with cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Tweety Bird and the Michelin Man.

    Untitled (Color), 2015, is a representative work of the sinister characters that inhabit KAWS's artistic universe: Companion, Accomplice, Chum and Bendy. This lot is reminiscent of the world of graffiti, advertising posters and billboards, with its powerful and compelling visual vocabulary. The character looks like an inflated dog skull with crossed out "X" eyes that are the artist's signature. The dog's general appearance is rather threatening and disturbing; the unclear composition accentuates this physical obscurity: facial details are not identifiable; in fact it seems that they were first disassembled and then randomly reassembled. For these reasons, the subject of the current lot encourages active engagement and a deep understanding from the viewer, but at the same time it maintains a distinct emotional distance, which lends the character an inhuman and robotic appearance.

    Untitled (Color), conveys KAWS's skill to turn childhood icons into unique creations. His practice blends fine contemporary art with consumer culture and collaborations with global brands. KAWS has worked together with fashion houses and created an album cover for Kanye West. This entrepreneurial aspect has allowed the artist to trespass the sphere of the art market and step into a more global and dynamic marketplace.

  • Artist Biography

    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.  

    View More Works

3

Untitled (Color)

2015
acrylic on canvas
153.7 x 88.9 cm (60 1/2 x 35 in.)
Signed and dated 'KAWS 15' on the reverse.

Estimate
£100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for £122,500

Contact Specialist
Tamila Kerimova
Head of Sale
+44 207 318 4065

New Now

London Auction 13 April 2016