KAWS Takes LA With “Mans Best Friend” Exhibition
This weekend Honor Fraser Gallery hosted the long awaited KAWS exhibition, “Mans Best Friend.” As with any KAWS show the crowd was an eclectic mix of art aficionados, rabid fan boys, and skater kids. For those unfamiliar with the work of the New Jersey street artist, KAWS played an integral part in the street art movement of the 90s. His trademark “ad disruptions” were seen across the globe, skyrocketing him to stardom. He has since gone on to focus mainly on his fine art exhibitions with notable commercial work including his Originalfake company, the design for Kanye West’s new CD, and reinventing the VMA’s spaceman award last year.
The exhibition, scheduled to run until October 31st, did not disappoint. The show consisted of pieces that channeled his now iconic mix of 1950’s abstract expressionism and animated pop culture. KAWS aptly comments on our collective consciousness by abstracting identifiable images, and then layering them inside outlines of pop culture icons. The technique is punctuated by use of a bight and vivid color scheme. For this show, KAWS focused on Charles M. Schulz’s drawings in his Peanuts series. The source material provides a rich backdrop to his commentary on our collective cultural identity, cultivated through years of exposure to such iconic imagery.
While the exhibition is breathtaking in person, it feels like a missed opportunity to expand beyond the artist’s established aesthetic. The majority of the images are strikingly similar to the work he has been producing for the past five years, with the notable introduction of Schulz’s legendary characters. KAWS has become and cultural phenomenon in the art world, and no one can blame him for playing it safe with this bread and butter exhibition. This critic only hopes that he keeps pushing the boundaries, as he is one of the most relevant artists working today. Check out pictures from the show below.
Ad disruption photo by Lord Jim used under CC BY-SA 2.0
Kayne West photo by Daniel Huntly used under CC BY-SA 2.0