The Galería Javier López is proud to present the eagerly awaited first solo exhibition in Spain by KAWS (Brian Donnelly, born, Jersey City, NJ, 1974).
A multidisciplinary artist, his work extracts and combines material and images from everyday life, reinterpreting and recontextualizing them, to establish his own personal image-bank of contemporary culture. KAWS' work simultaneously moves between and breaks down definitions of the parameters of the design, commercial art, street art, and fine arts worlds.
The three monochromatic paintings in this exhibition mark the newest works on canvas by the artist, each using gloss line on a matte background. The two black works, "Nightime Office" and "Through the Door", reuse the artist's signature Kawsbob and Chum characters. Inserting them into claustrophobic compositions, these figures violently break through architectonic frameworks into the space of the viewer, pulling shattered material with them.
The largest work in the show, "Dead Wrong", builds upon the rectilinear sections of the other works, yet combines both characters. Here, space becomes disjointed, conveying a stronger sense of collaged imagery. The fragmentation suggests a recombining and reconfiguration of separate paintings into an overall visual assault. A diminutive set of Kawsbob's hands seem to pull the fabric of the canvas itself to cover his eyes from something imminent. The graphic Chum looms ominously in the background, rendered flat yet threatening.
By augmenting imagery whose origins are innocuous, Kaws subverts popular culture and presents a vision of panic and anxiety. Incorporating his signature "X"ed out eyes, the figures become premonitions of their own deaths, merging childlike imagery with abstract concept. High art strategies and popular icons become interchangeable. KAWS' paintings at once recognize the way that popular images inseminate our lives and suggest the collapse of visual culture.
Born in 1974 in Jersey City, New Jersey, Brooklyn-based artist KAWS graduated with a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. He has had international solo exhibitions at several galleries including Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Miami, FL; Bape Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Colette, Paris, France; Gering & López Gallery, New York, NY; and Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. He has an upcoming solo museum exhibition at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, CT with an accompanying catalog published by Rizzoli.