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Contemporary Art

Three of a Kind: the Work of KAWS

By Sotheby's
Brian Donnelly, born in New Jersey in 1974, began using the name KAWS as a young graffiti artist in Jersey City. In New York City in the 1990s he began employing “subvertising” a practice of parodying corporate and political advertisements on billboards, phone booths, and bus shelters. Sotheby's Paris' Art Contemporain Evening sale on 5 June and Contemporary Art Online sale, open until 12 June, feature a selection of works by renowned artist KAWS.

1. KAWS, Untitled (Color), Estimate €120,000–180,000

Before turning into the acclaimed street artist he is today, KAWS worked for some time as an illustrator and animator.

Untitled (Color) reflects his masterful ability to combine neon colours in addition to the portrait of a cartoon-like character, whose X’ed-out eyes have become the artist’s notorious signature. Not only is Untitled (Color) an iconic work by KAWS but it is first and foremost the very explanation for today’s mass fascination with Brian Donnelly’s work.

2. KAWS & Robert Lazzarini, Distorted Companion, Estimate €1,000–1,500

The collaboration between KAWS and Robert Lazzarini is the fruit of the encounter of two plastic artists with a very specific vision of the world.

Distorted Companion is an artwork at the crossroads of KAWS’ cartoonish world and Lazzarini’s willingness to distort familiar objects.

3. KAWS, Resting place (Black), Estimate €1,000–1,500

Resting place is one of the last copies manufactured by OriginalFake, the company created by KAWS jointly with Medicom.

This Companion, which ranks amongst the rarest editions produced, partly unveils what lies beneath the fiber glass of these now emblematic sculptures.

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