A multifaceted artist with works ranging from graphic design to toys, KAWS presents a site-specific installation on the Museum’s Project Wall and in the courtyard. Spanning the fine art and commercial art worlds, KAWS’s work navigates the relationship between the street and the gallery in the 21st century. KAWS began as a graffiti artist who “bombed” advertisements by seamlessly incorporating his signature imagery. Evoking the pioneers of Pop Art and Japanese animation, KAWS creates masterful handmade paintings and sculptures—from small to massive in scale—alongside many projects in a wide array of media including drawings, toys, apparel, and other interventions. The work features his cartoon-like characters, which are transformed from a range of pop culture icons like Mickey Mouse, the Simpsons, and the Michelin Man. Though referencing comics and caricatures, his subjects often illustrate complex human emotions, from humor to pathos.
KAWS is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Lisa Melandri, Executive Director.