LA///FIRST LOOK: KAWS’ “THE LONG WAY HOME” AT HONOR FRASER GALLERY

February 22, 2009  |  art, Feature, First Look, Graffiti, KAWS, LA, News, Street Art

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Shepard and Amanda Fairey roll out the west coast welcome wagon for KAWS...

KAWS' anxiously anticipated new show “The Long Way Home,” opened its doors to an absolutely massive crowd at HONOR FRASER gallery in LA last nite, with a queue that wrapped entirely around the block (and then some) for the duration of the frenzied two-hour opening. KAWS' incredibly well behaved legion of faithful followers did their best to make the Brooklyn-based artist feel welcome in his first west coast solo exhibition that featured new paintings (the largest of which went to collector and Supertouch buddy Lance Armstrong), sculptures, a 20" solid bronze Chum figure and a new series of "Kurfs" and "Kawsbob" package paintings that were all spoken for well before the opening festivities kicked off. The evening's attending "A-list" included Everlast, Todd James, Robert & Suzanne Williams, Lupe Fiasco, Rosson Crow, Eric Elms, Miguel de la Barracuda, Shepard & Amanda Fairey, Scott Campbell, actor & Iron Man II screenwriter Justin Theroux, Cassette Playa's Carrie Mundane, LAMJC's Michael Dupouy, ANP Quarterly's Brendan Fowler, legendary Pop artist Kenny Scharf, and the incredible Chrome Hearts/Vice "Dont's" column guy with the crusty egg whites in his spiked hair (see below). Of course, a lot of KAWS' less savvy enthusiasts didn't quite understand that a proper art opening is not the place to ask an artist to sign your entire toy collection carried along in plastic grocery bags and the message boards will no doubt be ablaze this morning with unwarranted hate mail from a wave of unsatisfied eBay flippers (along with the 200 or so fans who couldn't get into the show because of mandatory time & fire marshal capacity constraints). A 600+ collector waiting list for the show's 18 paintings, however, proved testament to the pure heat of KAWS' unfulfilled demand in the art market and a huge story in the day's LA Times was just icing on the cake. HAVE A LOOK (and tune in for opening photos tonite):

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The queue an hour before show time...

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The style council: LAMJC's Thibault Choay, Michael Dupouy, and 12 Bar clothing's Nick Jackson prove that the English and French can get along. Sort of...

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The show's masterpiece and title work: "The Long Way Home," acrylic on canvas, 84 x 96 inches.

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(detail)

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Mrs Elms, Todd James/REAS, Brendan Fowler, Mr Elms, and Lupe Fiasco plot world domination...

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The big guy...

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Everlast provided impromptu security against some of KAWS more rabid autograph-seeking fans...

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"Gatekeepers," acrylic on canvas, 86 x 136 inches. (colleciton of Lance Armstrong)

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(detail)

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Shepard Fairey explains to KAWS and REAS how he's gonna beat the AP because "like, Obama totally doesn't have a case."

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The 8 footer meets his match...

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"Eleven Bones," acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 inches.

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KAWS with LA art legend Robert Williams and wife Suzanne...

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Suzanne Williams' Marc Newson "swiss cheese" shoes...

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Miguel de la Barracuda with Cassette Playa's Carrie Mundane...

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"Ruled Out," acrylic on canvas, 68 x 86 inches.

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"Without an Agreement," acrylic on canvas, 68 x 68 inches.

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"Floating the Rumors," acrylic on canvas, 68 x 86 inches.

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Painter Rosson Crow with KAWS...

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"Kurf (Tangle)," acrylic on canvas, 72 x 96 inches.

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"Kurf" package paintings.

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"Kurf" package painting, acrylic on canvas in plastic packaging, 18 x 15 x 3 inches.

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"Kurf" package painting, acrylic on canvas in plastic packaging, 18 x 15 x 3 inches.

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"Kurf" package painting, acrylic on canvas in plastic packaging, 18 x 15 x 3 inches.

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"Kurf" package painting, acrylic on canvas in plastic packaging, 18 x 15 x 3 inches.

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"Kurf" package painting, acrylic on canvas in plastic packaging, 18 x 15 x 3 inches.

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"Kurf (Hot Dog)," acrylic on canvas, 68 x 68 inches.

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"Kurf (Shhh...)," acrylic on canvas, 68 x 68 inches.

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(detail)

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"Kurf (Spilt Milk)," acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40 inches.

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Regular sightings like this are still the single best thing about living in LA...

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Sometimes words just cannot express...

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"Kawsbob" package paintings, acrylic on canvas in plastic packaging, 18 x 15 x 3 inches.

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"Chum," painted bronzes, series of 6 colors, 20 1/2 x 13 x 6 inches.

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REAS and Lupe Fiasco brainstorming their next Complex magazine cover...

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Honor Fraser with her radioactive security guard...

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Closing time and the vast unsatisfied queue prepares to break down the door once and for all...

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Rosson Crow closes out the nite and proves why she's the baddest girl in the room...


The line that never ended...

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