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  • Provenance

    Medicom, Original Fake
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Inspired by the Pop aesthetics of Claes Oldenburg and Tom Wesselmann and driven by his personal captivation with cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse or the Michelin Man, KAWS, born Brian Donnelly, emerged from the 1990s New York street art scene where he began his career creating ‘forced collaborations’ by employing advertisement found in public places such as telephone booths. Upon his move to Tokyo, where he continued to broaden his lexicon as a graffiti provocateur, KAWS also embraced the expanding universe of limited edition toys and appropriated these into his art, ultimately creating his own cast of characters and such works of art as Four Foot Dissected Companion.

    The character, Companion, based on the well-known cartoon Mickey Mouse, can be seen in the right part of the body which features a grayscale clown-like figure resembling the same skinny-legged appearance of the Walt Disney creation. Companion’s right half is further marked with the artist’s stylistic signature: exaggerated ears and the typical crossed-out eyes. Intriguingly the left half of the figure in the present lot has been dissected, as the title suggests, as if KAWS sought to examine every possible layer of this world-famous pop culture icon and reveal the bitter truth; childhood is over and that behind a cartoon there lurks a human being. Blending humour with more mature notions of life and death, Four Foot Dissected Companion is playful and contemplative at the same time, and reminds its viewers of the ephemerality of both the body and the nature of fun. With works like the present one KAWS joins a formidable list of artists including Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara who, in producing these “toys”, aim to blur the line between art and commerce.

  • 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

1

Four Foot Dissected Companion

incised 'Medicom Toy 2009 Made in China © KAWS 09' on the underside
painted cast vinyl
127 x 60.9 x 38.1 cm (50 x 23 7/8 x 15 in.)
Executed in 2009. This work is from an edition of 100 and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Original Fake.

Estimate
£12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for £35,000

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

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London Auction 8 December 2016