KAWS (American, b.1974)
BFF Black Edition, 2017
Open edition, still in original packaging
33cm (13 in) tall
KAWS is an American graffiti artist and designer known for his toys, paintings, and prints. Born Brian Donnelly in Jersey City, NJ, KAWS graduated with a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and went on to work in animation. “When your whole art is based on the lettering you choose, you kinda figure out what ones work together. I just liked the shapes of the k, a, w, s,” he explained of his moniker. Having started as a graffiti artist in New York in the early 1990s, KAWS began reworking advertisements in his distinctive style. Pop Art and culture permeate his cartoonish Companion series of figurines, which bear a resemblance to the works of Takashi Murakami. KAWS worked together with Nike in 2017 to produce an Air Jordan 4 shoe and has done multiple collaborations with the clothing brand Uniqlo, continuing to blur the boundaries between fine and commercial art. The artist is also known for his large scale public installations, such as 2019’s KAWS: Holiday which was installed in the Hong Kong harbour during Basel Hong Kong. In 2019, THE KAWS ALBUM (2005) sold at auction for a record $14.8 million, breaking his previous record of $2.7 million which was set in 2018. This work is a take on the Beatles' famous 1967 album cover for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, but instead replaced with characters from The Simpsons with the artist's signature Xs drawn across their eyes and skull. After years in the industry, KAWS gained approval from his peers in the street art world and more recently prestige from the museum and gallery worlds. Today, his work can be found in the collections at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the Rosenblum Collection in Paris. KAWS currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
This lot is also sold subject to Artists Resale Rights, details of which can be found in our Terms and Conditions.