Permanent Vacation


FROM 28 NOV – 25 DEC 2014


KAWS’s work is immediately recognizable in its transformation of iconic pop culture characters, turning them into thought-provoking works of art. His work reimagines popular cartoon characters using a visual language that functions paradoxically within the seemingly antagonistic traditions of Pop art and Geometric Abstraction, while brilliantly revitalizing the fields of both figuration and abstraction.

KAWS, having frequently vacationed in Saint Barthélemy for many years, titled this show with a biting sense of humor: PERMANENT VACATION. This is also the title of his latest dolphin-shaped painting in which borders and depth become irrelevant. The artist utilizes his unique sense of color in a bold and saturated palette combined with increasingly fragmented close-ups of streamlined Pop Art iconography.

Paintings from the artist’s new black and white series MAN’S BEST FRIEND will also be shown in the exhibition. The series presents variations on small details of Charles M. Schulz’s iconic drawings of characters from his Peanuts series. Original Peanuts comic strips appeared in American and international newspapers every day from 1950 until Schulz’s death in 2000, establishing the characters as significant figures in the American pop cultural vernacular for generations. Though the Peanuts characters are blown up to the point where they are nearly unrecognizable, KAWS leaves just enough information for us to identify his subjects, underscoring the ubiquity of these figures and the power of repetition in enabling images to enter our cultural memory.