On Saturday night, KAWS returned to Honor Fraser Gallery with new drawings, paintings, and sculpture in “Man’s Best Friend”. Hundreds lined up to for a chance to meet the artist, and there was no shortage of instagram selfies. The show offers bold abstractions of his favorite cartoon characters, this time Peanuts. KAWS’ technique of superimposing abstract shapes onto his own versions of the characters is almost unreal. Upon close inspection, you won’t find any hint of the artist’s touch. His work is meant to be taken in as a whole, described as a “landscape” that pays homage to animated icons and 1950s American Expressionism.
KAWS (right) with instagram fan Luis Osuna (@osunaphoto).
Setting the exhibition apart from his previous “Hold the Line” (covered here) are the pieces devoid of color; scribbly, black and white reinterpretations of Schulz’s original drawings, including a grid of fifty works on paper. To quote a trending headline, “Snoopy is a dog”, but KAWS’ Snoopy is drawn repeatedly beyond recognition into a symbol for cultural ubiquity. There is also his Corian sculpture cast, “Warm Regards, one of his original characters mixed with elements of KAWSBob, KAWS’s version of SpongeBob SquarePants. Love him or hate him, KAWS’ latest exhibition succeeds in mirroring our infatuation with the mainstream industry. He’s taken pop-culture, chewed it up and spit it back out again in a newly flat and disproportionate expression.
“Man’s Best Friend” by KAWS is now on view at Honor Fraser through October 31st, 2014.