KAWS in Conversation with Sam Shikiar - 92Y, New York

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Art Talk

KAWS in Conversation with Sam Shikiar

KAWS Clean Slate & Survival Machines

Engaging audiences beyond the museums and galleries in which he regularly exhibits, KAWS’ prolific body of influential work straddles the worlds of art and design to include paintings, murals, and graphic and product design, street art, and large-scale sculptures.

Over the last two decades KAWS has built a successful career with work that consistently shows his formal agility as an artist, as well as his underlying wit, irreverence, and affection for our times. He often draws inspiration and appropriates from pop culture animations to form a unique artistic vocabulary for his works across various mediums.

Now admired for his larger-than-life sculptures and hardedge paintings that emphasize line and color, KAWS’ cast of hybrid cartoon and human characters are perhaps the strongest examples of his exploration of humanity. His refined graphic language revitalizes figuration with big, bold gestures and keen, playful intricacy. As seen in his collaborations with global brands, KAWS’ imagery possesses a sophisticated humor and reveals a thoughtful interplay with consumer products. Highly sought-after by collectors inside and outside of the art world, KAWS’ artworks, with their broad appeal, establish him as a uniquely prominent artist in today’s culture.

Join the artist in conversation with Sam Shikiar for a discussion about his process, his influences, his approach to creating art and merchandise, his collaborations with global brands, and more.

Image: KAWS, CLEAN SLATE, 2015;  & KAWS, SURVIVAL MACHINES, 2015; credit: Jonty Wilde / Yorkshire Sculpture Park


KAWS was born in Jersey City in 1974 and lives and works in Brooklyn. He has exhibited internationally in major museums …

Sam Shikiar

Sam Shikiar has developed a passion for art collecting with a focus on Abstract Expressionism, Pop art, Color Field paintings and other contemporary works …

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