Posts Tagged ‘KAWS’
It seems KAWS has finally hit the big time with his artwork for the special edition packaging of KANYE WEST's new "808s & Heartbreak" album hitting Times Square this week. Based on a painting featured in KAWS' recent NY show at GERING & LOPEZ GALLERY, the cover is available for a limited time on physical copies of the CD at select retailers.
Just in time for this week's kickoff of ART BASEL 2009, Miami resident & baller extraordinaire PHARRELL has just taken delivery of a brand new 7' fiberglass KAWS "Chum" sculpture at his oceanfront pad. The only one of its kind in this color, the sculpture is part of the extremely limited-edition series kickstarted by the Brooklyn-based XX-eyed artist at his NYC show last month at the GERING & LOPEZ GALLERY where a hot pink version of the familiar Michelin Man awed fans. Look for a new colorway to debut at KAWS' upcoming show at LA's HONOR FRASER GALLERY in February '09...
Supertouch buddy and self-proclaimed "voice of a generation" KANYE WEST has upped the ante on his highly anticipated new album "808s & Heartbreak" by drafting fast-rising Pop Art star KAWS to design a custom cover available exclusively on the iTunes version of the album dropping Tuesday, November 25th, and in stores on December 16th as a sepcial Christmas edition of the record.
Roadtripping in NYC last week it was easy to get caught up in the flourish of first-rate openings while falling behind on the blogging. Time to play a bit of catch up now starting with the opening of KAWS' eponymous show of new work at the esteemed GERING & LOPEZ GALLERY, located, most appropriately, in a suite of the Playboy Enterprises building on 5th Avenue. The artist's first proper show of art since his seismic debut at the New Museum in 2000, this collection of new and mostly large-scale paintings finds the Brooklyn-based artist and Pop Culture provocateur mining new artistic territory by breaking down the structure of his now-iconic cast of miscreant characters in a series of abstract paintings. Breaking from his recent streak of strict figurative renditions of classic cartoon characters in portrait series that portrayed and parodied the Simpsons, Fat Albert, Spongebob, and The Smurfs, among other, KAWS has now reduced his own player's bodies & limbs to broken components of bigger and more colorful geometric compositions. Keeping true to his commercial aesthetic, the linework and color fills in all the works is so precise that it could easily be mistaken for a silkscreen or other mechanically-produced print, a further commentary on the commodification issue KAWS relentlessly addresses in all of his work. Adding some distinct physical presence to the show is a new 7-foot-tall sculptural interpretation of the artist's classic "Chum" character alongside a series of thirty-three kandy-colored bronze replicas of his own head, displayed in neat rows like ancient Aztec trophy skulls for all his fans to see. Despite the highbrow environment of the gallery, KAWS' starpower remained undiminished throughout the evening as a seemingly endless throng of young fans queued up for over three hours to get all manner of ephemera signed by the elusive phantom himself. Keep an eye out for our in-depth interview with KAWS dropping later this week. Meanwhile, HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Miami was ground zero for KAWS' official re-entry to the formal gallery art world this weekend when his first formal solo painting show in several years, "Saturated," was finally unveiled to an adoring public at GALERIE EMMANUEL PERROTIN in Miami. Focusing on two thematic series of artworks based on the cartoon "Smurfs," and "Spongebob" series commissioned by ultra-producer and international tastemaker PHARRELL, the show featured a new extended edition of Spongebob pieces that were quickly snapped up by an array of international collectors. On site for the opening was the XX-eyed artist himself who to greet his public and sign autographs like the art star he is. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Carefully cultivating his highly personal and multifaceted career outside the mainstream gallery world to this point, Supertouch buddy KAWS is about to dive headfirst into the shark-infested waters of the "real" art world with upcoming solo shows in NYC, Miami, and LA. Taking note of his career arc is NY TIMES writer ROB WALKER who penned the following profile of Mr. Donnelley for the paper's August 3rd edition:
New Looks: KAWS
By Rob Walker (Published: August 3, 2008, NY Times)At 33, Brian Donnelly is enjoying a successful art career. Working out of a studio in Brooklyn, he has sold paintings to Pharrell Williams, the rapper and producer; Nigo, the designer-entrepreneur; and Takashi Murakami, the international art star, among others. He has also created a variety of products including toys, apparel and even pillows — and indeed he has his own store, Original Fake, in Tokyo. He has also been widely known in the “street art” world for years; one of his early altered-phone-booth-ad posters recently traded hands on eBay for $22,000. One thing Donnelly had not done until lately, however, is forge a relationship with a dealer or art gallery. This wasn’t because he shunned or had a problem with the traditional gallery system. He says it’s just that “nobody asked.” READ ON: Read More
Tokyo travelers know that the national obsession with kawaii ("cute") character mascots is ubiquitous to the point that even the police have their own cartoon buddy, PIPO KUN, to keep them warm & fuzzy inside (too bad the same's not true here, we can only imagine the mascots the LAPD & NYPD would come up with). In a very unofficially sanctioned homage to the gunless wonders that keep Japan the safest country on the planet, Supertouch buddy KAWS has just released two colorways of his own XX-eyed version of the little do-gooder called "JPP" for sale on his personal website. Produced by MEDICOM TOYS for KAWS' ORIGINAL FAKE label, the little buggers are 8" of crime-stopping vinyl in either yellow or black (1,000 pieces produced per colorway), and will set you back $98 each. Don't sleep; these will disappear faster than John McCain's presidential run. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
In their ongoing graphics collaboration for ORIGINAL FAKE, Supertouch homies MARK DEAN VECA and Mr KAWS have again teamed up to bring you this hyperdetailed Veca-penned rendering of XX-eyed mastermind's classic Blitz bomb character. Look for it on T-shirts in Fall 2008. As for the original, you'll have to get an invitation to KAWS' house to see it on his wall...
As we mentioned previously, perennial ST homeboy KAWS teamed up with Chinese Pop Art god YUE MINJUN to create a special figure for the MUSEUM OF TOMORROW’s “fine art toy” show titled “Art For The Masses” that opened last week in Taipei. Featuring new sculpts displayed alongside original artworks by ZHOU TIEN HAI, LIU YE, JING YU, ZHOU CHUN YA, the show is the first to address the genre for a Chinese audience incorporating domestic modern artists. All figures have been produced in runs of 100 pieces for sale in complete sets only at the museum and are not being distributed domestically. And yes, they’re expensive. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Yeah, that thing's real. It's a special collaborative figure made by KAWS and Chinese art phenomenon YUE MINJUN for a special show of vinyl toys designed by Chinese artists called "Art For The Masses" at Taipei's MUSEUM OF TOMORROW that opened tonite (through July 27th). Featuring new sculpts by ZHOU TIEN HAI, LIU YE, JING YU, ZHOU CHUN YA, and YUE MINJUN (with KAWS), the show is the first to address the genre for a Chinese audience incorporating domestic modern artists. All figures have been produced in runs of 500 pieces for sale at the museum and are not being distributed domestically. Translation: keep your eyes on eBay and your PayPal account locked & loaded. HAVE A LOOK: Read More