Surely one of the most talked about exhibits going on currently is KAWS at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut. As a fellow New Jerseyian, I feel it is my duty, nay my privilege, to hail from the same state as such an incredible street turned gallery artist. Made famous for his defacement of bus shelter advertisements back in the day (thanks to Barry McGee who gave him the key to the locks), KAWS continually reinvents his art taking it one step further with each new endeavor. What truly amazes me is that his aesthetic hardly changes, and KAWS’ logo/monster/creature-like-thing is still his work’s trademark embedded into nearly every piece.
Even though one might deem that KAWS’ work is out of place in a white walls museum stiff setting, the pieces are so loud and speak individually, that the white walls are a nonfactor in this instance. I especially enjoy the fusion of his colorful character and celebrity or model portraiture. The pieces are comical, yet strangely sadistic, in the sense that KAWS’ creatures own the subject and are not just a form of vandalism; rather, they belong in the picture. In some odd welding of pop, street, urban, and collage art, KAWS’ new works seem right at home on these walls, and I would be hardly surprised if they do not begin to appear in galleries or modern art museum collections more often.
The exhibit also boasts many of his more affordable collaborations like shoes, skateboards, etc. KAWS’s style just goes to show everyone that his work truly is relatable to and for the public, even in museum space. So if anybody wants to buy me one of the skate decks, I definitely would not decline such a gift.
Oh, and the music is a bit cheesy. You might want to turn it on mute. Or play a little Bruce in Kaws’ honor.
Video courtesy of OsirisOrion