Portrait of a Woman, 2002
The Inner Way, 1999
Stamped ‘:CHUM.. ©KAWS..02 on the underside of the left foot; further signed and dated ‘KAWS..03’ on the underside of the right foot
Painted vinyl, with original 360 Toy Group packaging
35.6 x 21 x 10.8 cm (14 x 8 1/4 x 4 1/4 in.)
Executed in 2002, this work is number 21 from an edition of 500 fabricated by 360 Toy Group, New York.
American — 1974
To understand the work of KAWS is to understand his roots in the skateboard and graffiti crews of New York City. Brian Donnelly chose KAWS as his moniker to tag city streets beginning in the 1990s, and quickly became a celebrated standout in the scene. Having swapped spray paint for explorations in fine art spanning sculpture, painting and collage, KAWS has maintained a fascination with classic cartoons, including Garfield, SpongeBob SquarePants and The Simpsons, and reconfigured familiar subjects into a world of fantasy.
Perhaps he is most known for his larger-than-life fiberglass sculptures that supplant the body of Mickey Mouse onto KAWS’ own imagined creatures, often with ‘x’-ed out eyes or ultra-animated features. However, KAWS also works frequently in neon and vivid paint, adding animation and depth to contemporary paintings filled with approachable imagination. There is mass appeal to KAWS, who exhibits globally and most frequently in Asia, Europe and the United States.
Working on ‘Slightly Altered’ project artistic duo Synchrodogs went into a one-month trip across Carpathian Mountains to discover how far people managed to intrude into the territories that were meant to be wild.
People have always been shaping natural forces around them. But is there a limit of resources the Earth would allow us to use? “Slightly Altered” is a reflection on how much we are intertwined with nature – changing the environment, we change ourselves. The project is about interdependency of humans and nature and the new ways the Earth begins to look as a result of our interventions into the environmental processes.
Over the month of travelling artistic duo had to face a lot of controversial situations: getting to know how thousands of trees are being lumbered by locals weekly, all illegally, for the sake of getting paid, seeing taxidermied animals in every mountain restaurant, hotel or house and never spotting at least one live animal in the forest, stomping out a fire on the mountain valley after some people irresponsibly left a campfire to stop burning by itself.
Witnessing these and other intrusions into nature, Synchrodogs have started reflecting upon how much we, like all life, both alter our environment and are altered by it.
Creating installations meant to live for a single day and photographing them before they decay, Synchrodogs’ images preserve vistas that are—sadly—likely to be irrevocably altered by the next generation.
An abstract reflection on human exploitation of nature, the project is also a visual message about the importance of education – not the one about numerical or verbal literacy but the one that teaches us to appreciate nature and to live our lives with awareness, responsibility, and care.