Our friends at GUILLOTINE were on hand at the opening of KAWS' eponymous show of three new large-scale monochromatic paintings at esteemed Madrid GALERIE JAVIER LOPEZ. As predicted, KAWS spent a good part of the evening signing autographs for the throng of fans awaiting his first Spanish appearance where his presence was also felt at the concurrent ARCO art fair...
*Additional photos by Sinfe...
KAWS AT ARCO:
Vinyl toy fiend and diehard KAWS fanatic JEFF TOVERS went all the way and made his love eternal. Two more colorways to go, bro, send us photos when you wrap those up...
Supertouch buddy KAWS has just dropped a quick sneek peek of the installation of his eponymous new show of three large paintings in Madrid, Spain, at the esteemed GALERIA JAVIER LOPEZ opening February 17th (to coincide with the kickoff of ARCO Madrid). This show comes as a brief preview for what's to come at the artist's upcoming first ever museum show at THE ALDRICH MUSEUM opening June 2th. Meanwhile, here's what the gallery has to say about the Jersey boy:
"The three monochromatic paintings in this exhibition mark the newest works on canvas by the artist, each using gloss line on a matte background. The two black works, "Nightime Office" and "Through the Door", reuse the artist's signature Kawsbob and Chum characters. Inserting them into claustrophobic compositions, these figures violently break through architectonic frameworks into the space of the viewer, pulling shattered material with them.
The largest work in the show, "Dead Wrong", builds upon the rectilinear sections of the other works, yet combines both characters. Here, space becomes disjointed, conveying a stronger sense of collaged imagery. The fragmentation suggests a recombining and reconfiguration of separate paintings into an overall visual assault. A diminutive set of Kawsbob's hands seem to pull the fabric of the canvas itself to cover his eyes from something imminent. The graphic Chum looms ominously in the background, rendered flat yet threatening.
By augmenting imagery whose origins are innocuous, Kaws subverts popular culture and presents a vision of panic and anxiety. Incorporating his signature "X"ed out eyes, the figures become premonitions of their own deaths, merging childlike imagery with abstract concept. High art strategies and popular icons become interchangeable. KAWS' paintings at once recognize the way that popular images inseminate our lives and suggest the collapse of visual culture."
Supertouch buddy LANCE ARMSTRONG is currently busy training in Nice, France, warming up on the epic Col de la Madone for this weekend's competition at the legendary MILAN-SAN REMO day race. A difficult endurance trial for sprinters, the unusually long run will no doubt be made more palatable by the arrival of Lance's new ride that will see him across the finish line: the KAWS x TREK MADONE 6.9. Keep an eye on ST for race updates this weekend...
Pop killer KAWS just put the finishing touches on his new design for Supertouch buddy LANCE ARMSTRONG's new TREK Madone 6.9 road bike set to roll in the upcoming MILAN-SAN REMO race. Unveiled tonite at NIKE's MONTALBAN THEATER by Lance himself, the cycle marks the kickoff of the new "Stages" art bike campaign being waged to help expand the LIVESTRONG foundation's global anti-cancer fight. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
...and it hits stands Monday, March 2nd. Don't sleep.
KAWS' street hits were the freshest on the block back in '97 when an incredibly young-looking Brian Donnelley was getting busy on the billboards and bus stops of NYC and Tokyo on the regular. Here we see some rare footage of the youthful media manipulator on the go with commentary by fellow bomber RON ENGLISH...
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 Spongebob package paintings that were spoken for well before the opening festivities kicked off.Read More
TAG, THIS ARTIST IS DEFINITELY IT
KAWS becomes a brand name as his images appear on hip-hoppers' clothes and on gallery walls.
By Chris Lee
February 21, 2009, LATimes
Over the course of a career that has variously infuriated anti-graffiti task force officers and enthralled Japanese street couture collectors—meaning winning props from hip-hop superstars Kanye West and Pharrell Williams—the pop artist KAWS has carved a unique niche for himself. The soft-spoken 34-year-old Jersey City native, born Brian Donnelly, created a new business model that bridges the high-low culture divide in ways that would have made steam come out of Andy Warhol's ears.
By parlaying vandalism into a brand identity as a purveyor of mass-produced collectible toys, KAWS became a bona fide subculture celebrity with a recognizable presence in street fashion.
But now, KAWS is at a career turning point. In spite of his renown in subcultural circles (which galleristas and museum directors have historically snobbed), he is now being mentioned in the same breath as pop art luminaries, such as Takashi Murakami, Keith Haring and Jeff Koons. And while KAWS has proven himself perfectly capable of trafficking his own pop offerings—on skateboard decks, stickers, T-shirts and sneakers—KAWS has infiltrated the rarefied world of institutional art after being held at arm's distance from it for much of his career. Pretty fly for a graf guy.
"When I grew up, I never thought I could enter a gallery," KAWS said over lunch at Chateau Marmont this week. "I looked at them as these pretentious places that did not welcome me." Click HERE to continue reading...