KAWS - New Now London Tuesday, April 10, 2018 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Salon 94, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Painted in 2014, Untitled celebrates KAWS’ distinct visual vocabulary and typifies the artist's captivating and graphic canvases that are immaculately executed in acrylic. KAWS’ signature style involves the reworking of many familiar icons from popular culture and comic books, often featuring cartoon characters with X-covered eyes, such as Mickey Mouse, SpongeBob SquarePants and the Michelin Man. In the present work, Snoopy and Woodstock from Charles M. Schulz’s loved comic strip Peanuts are closely cropped yet still recognisable. In the present work, the artist’s dark spin on these otherwise playful figures is emphasised by the monochrome palette of this canvas and his confident and strikingly effective use of line. Deftly operating at the intersection of street art and commercialism, with a decidedly Pop sensibility, KAWS’ body of work has become prolific in its own right.

    Professionally known as KAWS, Brooklyn-based artist Brian Donnelly began his career as a street artist and is now widely considered one of today’s most vibrant and exciting contemporary artists. His practice is rooted in both the commercialist aesthetics of artists such as Claes Oldenburg and Takashi Murakami and his personal fascination with graphic design and graffiti has resulted in his production of dynamic, ironic and playful works, charged with an underlying social commentary.

  • 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 (MBFF9)

signed and dated 'KAWS..'14' on the reverse
acrylic on canvas
188.3 x 152.4 cm (74 1/8 x 60 in.)
Painted in 2014.

£100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for £162,500

Contact Specialist
Simon Tovey
Head of Sale
+44 20 7318 4084

New Now

London Auction 11 April 2018