KAWS engages audiences beyond the museums and galleries in which he regularly exhibits. His prolific body of work 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 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 hard-edge 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, his imagery possesses a sophisticated humor and reveals a thoughtful interplay with consumer products. With their broad appeal, his 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.
Born in 1974, Jersey City, New Jersey, KAWS lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and has exhibited extensively in renowned institutions, including solo exhibitions at Serpentine Gallery, London (2022); Mori Arts Center Gallery, Tokyo (2021); Brooklyn Museum, New York (2015, 2021); National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (2019); Fire Station, Qatar Museums, Doha (2019); Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Michigan (2019), Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Missouri (2017); Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas (2016), which traveled to the Yuz Museum Shanghai (2017); Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Longside Gallery, West Yorkshire (2016); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Málaga, (2014); Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas (2013); Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia (2013); High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia (2011); and Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2011).
Photograph: © Nils Mueller for Wertical