Kaws ‘Pay the Debt to Nature’ Exhibit at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin

9 Nov

Kaws ‘Pay the Debt to Nature‘ exhibit is currently running at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin till December 23, 2010.

Pay the Debt to Nature

The exhibition Pay the Debt to Nature, whose eponymous work shows a man captured and manhandled by Nature, which has reclaimed its rights, unveils a collection of nine paintings including five ‘grisailles’, which at times come close to the abstract. Three monumental sculptures in fibreglass of his fetish personalities, Companion and Accomplice, with the head of a rabbit, invite us to enter KAWS’ world.

KAWS made his name by his impromptu interventions on advertisements in bus shelters and telephone cabins in the streets of New York between 1996 and 2000. His motifs, Skully – a pirate head with eyes in the shape of a cross – or Bendy – a sperm shaped body with a pirate head – deftly infiltrated advertising panels by cleverly blending into each setting.

Beginning in 1999, he developed other personalities such as the famous Companion (a pirate skull on the body of Mickey Mouse, having collaborated a while with Disney), which he produced as an art toy via the Japanese company Bounty Hunter. Henceforth, he developed collaborations with the world of fashion (Marc Jacobs, BAPE, Comme des Garçons, Colette, etc.), the press (numerous magazine covers were voluntarily ‘disrupted’, from New York magazine to Jalouse), and music (Pharrell Williams and Kanye West).


In 2001, he produced his first series of 40 paintings in rigid plastic that recalled the wrapping of figurines, in which the Kimpsons appeared, inspired by the Simpsons, and Chum, inspired by the body of Michelin’s Bibendum.

By founding his company ‘Original Fake’ in 2002, KAWS asserted even more that the artistic gesture is not only present in paintings and sculpture but also in figurines and goodies, thus furthering the approaches of Claes Oldenburg, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol and Takashi Murakami.

KAWS (Brian Donnelly) was born in 1974 in Jersey City, NJ. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

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