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KAWS Mixed Media

American

In the beginning, Brian Donnelly was just a kid from Jersey City, New Jersey, who got into the graffiti thing. KAWS was his tag, chosen simply because he liked the way it looked. Today, KAWS’s oeuvre encompasses art toys, sculptures and colorful paintings and prints that appropriate pop phenomena like the Smurfs, the Simpsons and SpongeBob SquarePants.

In the late 1990s, the artist, a 1996 graduate of New York’s School of Visual Arts, was making a living as an illustrator for the animation studio Jumbo Pictures. Like young Hansel and Gretel with their trail of crumbs, KAWS would mark the morning route to his downtown Manhattan office with “subvertising,” “interrupting” fashion advertisements by adding his colorful character Bendy, its sinuous length sliding playfully around the likes of a Calvin Klein perfume bottle or supermodel Christy Turlington.

These creations gained a following, to the point where work posted in the morning would disappear by lunchtime. Even in those early days, KAWS was hot on the resale market.

“When I was doing graffiti,” he once explained, “it meant nothing to me to make paintings if I wasn’t reaching people.” Instead of seeking entrée to the elite New York art world (which, frankly, wasn’t looking for a street artist anyway), KAWS moved to Japan, where a flourishing youth culture welcomed visionaries like him.

In 1999, he partnered with Bounty Hunter, a Japanese toy and streetwear brand, to release his first toy. Companion — an eight-inch-tall vinyl reimagining of Mickey Mouse, with a skull-and-crossbones head and trademark XX eyes — debuted with a limited run of 500. It sold out quickly.

Companion was the first of more than 130 toy designs, which came to include such characters as Chum, Blitz, Be@rbrick, BFF and Milo, each immediately recognizable as KAWS figures by their XX eyes. Fans have proved insatiable. In 2017, MoMA’s online store announced the availability of a limited supply of KAWS Companion figures; as avid collectors logged on to stake their claim, the website crashed — multiple times.

Companion is the most visible of the KAWS posse, appearing over the past decade in new postures and combinations in monumental works. These include Along the Way (2013), an 18-foot-tall wooden sculpture of two Companions leaning on each other for support; Together (2016), two Companions in a friendly embrace, which debuted during an exhibition of KAWS’s work at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, in Texas; and KAWS:HOLIDAY (2018), a 92-foot-long inflatable Companion floating on its back in Seoul’s Seokchon Lake. The sculptures were re-created as toys, blurring the lines between art and commerce.

KAWS’s visual language may be drawn from cartoons, but his work doesn’t necessarily evoke childlike joy. “My figures are not always reflecting the idealistic cartoon view that I grew up on,” he explains in the catalogue for the Fort Worth exhibition. “Companion is more real in dealing with contemporary human circumstances . . . . I think when I’m making work it also often mirrors what’s going on with me at that time.”

KAWS's résumé reads like a record of major 21st-century pop-culture moments. It includes his work with streetwear brands like A Bathing Ape and Supreme; his design for the cover of Kanye West’s 2008 album, 808s & Heartbreak; and his collaboration with designer Kim Jones on the Dior Homme Spring/Summer 2019 collection, Jones’s debut as the fashion brand’s creative director.

Learn how to spot a fake KAWS art toy, and browse authentic KAWS prints, sculptures and mixed media works on 1stDibs.

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Artist: KAWS
KAWS HOLIDAY Hong Kong (announcement)
By KAWS
Located in NEW YORK, NY
KAWS HOLIDAY: Hong Kong 2019: Rare inflated promotional KAWS Holiday figure published by All Rights Reserved to advertise the debut of a large scale KAWS floating figure in Hong Kong...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Pop Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Plastic, Lithograph

Chopsticks (Holiday - Japan)
By KAWS
Located in London, GB
For his Holiday Japan event at the base of Mount Fuji, KAWS released a set of wooden chopsticks. The wooden chopsticks, which feature his famous X motif engraved on each stick, were ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Street Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Wood

Unique Cloud Drawing, inscribed to Caroline
By KAWS
Located in New York, NY
KAWS Unique Cloud Drawing, inscribed to Caroline Original drawing done in silver marker. Hand signed inscribed and dated. Held in hardback monograph 11 × 8 3/4 inches Boldly hand sig...
Category

2010s Street Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Mixed Media, Permanent Marker, Offset

KAWS FAMILY (grey KAWS Family companion)
By KAWS
Located in NEW YORK, NY
KAWS FAMILY 2021: A well-received work and variation of KAWS' larger FAMILY sculpture - this highly collectible KAWS Companion set was published on the occasion of KAWS’ first large ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Pop Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Resin, Vinyl

KAWS: HOLIDAY JAPAN Mount Fuji Ceramic Plate Set (Set of 4)
By KAWS
Located in NEW YORK, NY
KAWS: HOLIDAY JAPAN Mount Fuji Ceramic Plate Set (Set of 4): This standout KAWS ceramic plate set was published by All Rights Reserved to commemorate the debut of KAWS’ 40-meters-lon...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Pop Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Resin, Vinyl

KAWS HOLIDAY JAPAN (Set of 4 plates)
By KAWS
Located in NEW YORK, NY
KAWS: HOLIDAY JAPAN Mount Fuji Ceramic Plate Set (Set of 4): This standout KAWS ceramic plate set was published by All Rights Reserved to commemorate the debut of KAWS’ 40-meters-lon...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Pop Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Lithograph, Screen, Resin, Vinyl

Cat Teeth Bank
By KAWS
Located in New York, NY
KAWS Cat Teeth Bank (Navy Blue) in original box, 2007 Limited Edition painted cast vinyl 5 × 5 × 1 in Edition of 400 Stamped on the underside This long sold out 2007 KAWS collectible...
Category

Early 2000s Street Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Plastic, Acrylic

KAWS 2009 The Long Way Home (exhibition announcement)
By KAWS
Located in NEW YORK, NY
KAWS The Long Way Home: Rare, highly collectible 2000's exhibition announcement for a solo exhibition by KAWS Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles: February 21, 2009 — April 04, 2009. ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Pop Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Lithograph, Offset

Where the End Starts
By KAWS
Located in New York, NY
KAWS Where the End Meets, 2016 Ink on paper drawing on offset lithograph Hand signed and dated by KAWS lower front Accompanied by hand signed letter of provenance from museum staff U...
Category

2010s Street Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Ink, Offset

Oversized Limited Edition Towel from the Siwilai Store Bangkok
By KAWS
Located in New York, NY
KAWS Oversized Limited Edition Beach Towel/Wall Hanging, 2016 Limited Edition Silkscreen on 100% Cotton with Original Tags attached 67 × 35 1/2 × 3/10 inches Unframed Very limited ed...
Category

2010s Street Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Cotton, Screen

Holiday UK (black)
By KAWS
Located in London, GB
Vinyl 12 inch height Certificated NFC chip of authenticity Sold in mint condition, unopened.
Category

2010s Street Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

PVC

Holiday Taipai - brown
By KAWS
Located in London, GB
Painted cast vinyl Sold in mint condition, as issued. 5.5 X 7 X 5.5 inches (14 X 17.8 X 14 cm)
Category

2010s Street Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

PVC

Holiday Plush
By KAWS
Located in London, GB
Produced by DDT Store Fabric (Rice Boa & 100% Polyester) 51cm x 10cm x 7.5cm each Edition of 2000
Category

2010s Pop Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Textile

Hasebe LP
By KAWS
Located in Washington , DC, DC
This vinyl record was designed by KAWS in 2002, very early into his career for DJ Hasebe. This is a rare Japan only release
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Paper

Urge plate set (complete set of 4)
By KAWS
Located in London, GB
Fine china Complete set of 4, sold in 'as new' condition, unused and in original packaging as issued. Each measures 6.4 X 4.5 inches (16.3 X 11.4 cm).
Category

2010s Pop Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Ceramic

Yellow Snake
By KAWS
Located in New York, NY
KAWS Yellow Snake, 2005 Silkscreen on 100% Canadian 7-Ply Maplewood Skateboard 31 × 8 × 3/10 inches Edition of 500 Rare limited edition early KAWS piece from 2005. Highly collectibl...
Category

Early 2000s Pop Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Wood, Screen

Warm Regards - brown
By KAWS
Located in London, GB
Painted cast vinyl Released in 2009 Sold in mint condition 6.5 X 3.5 X 1 inches (16.5 X 8.9 X 2.5 cm)
Category

2010s Street Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

PVC

Holiday Japan Mount Fuji, blue
By KAWS
Located in London, GB
Polyester fur Open Edition 21cm (8.26 in) Unsigned, numbered. 'As new' condition, as issued.
Category

2010s Pop Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

PVC

Share - complete set of 3
By KAWS
Located in London, GB
Painted cast vinyl Complete set of 3 (grey, brown, black) Each measures 12.4 X 6.3 X 3.94 inches (31.5 X 16 X 10 cm) Sold in mint condition, in original packaging as issued.
Category

2010s Pop Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

PVC

Brooklyn Museum URGE Plate Set of 4
By KAWS
Located in London, GB
Sold in new condition, in original publisher packaging as issued.
Category

2010s Street Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Ceramic

BFF Plush (Edition of 3000)
By KAWS
Located in London, GB
KAWS BFF Plush. Limited edition of 3,000. Unumbered. Sold in mint condition and in the original publisher packaging, as issued.
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Street Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Textile

Tokyo First Holiday Companion Fire-King Cup & Saucer
By KAWS
Located in London, GB
strCeramic, sold unused and in new condition, in original publisher packaging, as issued.
Category

2010s Street Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Ceramic

Ceramic Teapot White
By KAWS
Located in London, GB
KAWS Ceramic Teapot White. Sold in new condition, unused and in original publisher packaging (as issued). Sold out and now highly collectable.
Category

2010s Pop Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Ceramic

Bert & Ernie (Sesame Street) by KAWS
By KAWS
Located in London, GB
20.50 in (52.1 cm) Sold in 'as new' condition, with original publisher tags as issued. 100% Polyester.
Category

2010s Street Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Polyester

Blanket (Red)
By KAWS
Located in London, GB
100% superfine cashmere 50.98 x 70.98 in (129.5 x 180.3 cm) Edition of 80. Sold in 'as new' / unused condition and in original packaging (as issued). Sold unframed.
Category

2010s Street Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Wool

Blanket (Blue) by KAWS
By KAWS
Located in London, GB
100% superfine cashmere 50.98 x 70.98 in (129.5 x 180.3 cm) Edition of 80. Sold in 'as new' / unused condition and in original packaging (as issued). Sold unframed.
Category

2010s Street Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Wool

Kaws Blush Set Flayed & Companion YUZ Museum China Decorative Figures Pop Urban
By KAWS
Located in Atlanta, GA
KAWS is a multi-faceted artist straddling the worlds of art and design in his prolific body of work that ranges from paintings, murals, and large-scale sculptures to product design a...
Category

2010s Pop Art KAWS Mixed Media

Materials

Resin, Vinyl

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KAWS Black Flayed Companion (KAWSf layed)
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Previously Available Items
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KAWS - Red Blanket, Cashmere, Contemporary Art, Street Art, Urban Art
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Blue Blanket, Cashmere, Contemporary Art, Street Art, Urban Art
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Located in Hamburg, DE
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Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket, Disney + KAWS, Art Toy, 2010
By KAWS
Located in New York, NY
KAWS and Disney collaboration Art Toy, ‘Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket’ is a heartwarming vinyl duo by street-artist and contemporary master, KAWS. The collectable iconic pair was crea...
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Snoopy (large - black) by KAWS
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Located in London, GB
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Located in NEW YORK, NY
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KAWS mixed media for sale on 1stDibs

Find wide variety of authentic KAWS mixed media available for sale on 1stDibs. If you're looking for a way to add color to a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom, you can find work that includes elements of blue, orange, purple and other colors.. You can also browse by medium to find art by KAWS in organic material, paint, plastic and more. Much of this artist's original work was created during the 21st Century and Contemporary, and is mostly associated with the street art style. Not every interior allows for large KAWS mixed media, so small editions measuring 3 inches across are available. Those interested in this artist might also find the work of Agent X, Robert Indiana and Betsy Enzensberger. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $200 and tops out at $5,744, while the average work can sell for $1,554.
Questions About KAWS Mixed Media
  • Irena Orlov ArtMarch 1, 2021
    Kaws' Companion is a clown-like figure based on a Mickey Mouse with X-ed out eyes.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    A KAWS figure is a toy or figurine comparable to an action figure, created by the American artist, Brian Donnelly, who is known professionally as KAWS. Called ‘companions’, the figures are in KAWS’ signature style, and monster-size versions have been seen everywhere from Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Shop a selection of KAWS pieces from some of the world’s top art dealers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Yes, KAWS are always produced in limited edition runs. KAWS is a New York-based artist who designs limited edition toys and clothing. He is known for creating figurines that mix both high- and low-brow art. Widely popular with pop culture enthusiasts and collectors, KAWS art can only be found through select retailers. Find a range of KAWS art for sale on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    KAWS is an American artist, toy and clothing designer. Born in New Jersey under the name Brian Donnelly, he became interested in graffiti very early on. He earned a BFA and began working for Disney. His artwork gained popularity and he began traveling and designing toys and clothing while continuing art and sculptures. On 1stDibs, find a variety of original artwork from top artists.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Yes, artist Brian Donnelly, known professionally as KAWS, does make his own art. He admits he has a regimented schedule now that he has children, and finds that this has made him more productive, allowing him to focus on sculptures and paintings in the mornings. On 1stDibs, find a variety of original artwork from top artists.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Brooklyn, New York artist KAWS uses a variety of mediums for his work, with acrylic painting, screen prints and sculptures being the most predominant. On 1stDibs, find a collection of authentic KAWS pieces from some of the world’s top sellers.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    The KAWS Take open edition is a type of vinyl figurine sold as a decorative object or work of art. Arton Contemporary produces the figurines in limited quantities. The open edition Take debuted in 2020. On 1stDibs, shop a selection of KAWS art.

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