KAWS at the national gallery of Victoria


KAWS’ massive “COMPANIONSHIP IN THE AGE OF LONELINESS” exhibition visited by our Vroom and Varossieau Ambassador. The vast presentation examines the artist’s diverse output, showing amongst other paintings, murals, large-scale sculptures, street and public art, pieces from his fashion collaborations. The highlight of the show is a newly commissioned large bronze sculpture of the artist’s signature Companion.

There are four themes to the expo: “Public Interventions,” “Iconography,” “Order And Chaos,” and “Companionship.” Featuring his early bus stop ads, acrylic on canvas pieces that see reworked pop culture subjects with his skull-and-crossbones styling, as well as a collection of life-sized figures including his ‘ACCOMPLICE’ (2010) Companion.

KAWS,  Kate Moss, 2001

KAWS, Kate Moss, 2001


KAWS engages with feelings of isolation and loneliness through his works. His larger-than-life sculptures are playful, toy-like figures, however, they reveal a fragility and gloominess. The exhibition will include a recently commissioned 7-metre bronze COMPANION sculpture GONE, 2019, standing in a Pietà pose. This work will be the largest bronze piece KAWS has created to date.


Born in 1974 in Jersey City, KAWS attended the School of Visual Arts in New York where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He went on to work for Jumbo Pictures animation studio, painting cells for animated series including Disney’s 101 Dalmatians and Doug, and MTV’s cult series Daria.


The artist began his artistic career outside of the traditional art world during the height of graffiti and street art culture in New York in the early 1990s. He began to develop his signature motifs, the skull and crossbones, that appeared painted over the beautiful faces of late 90s Manhattan advertising posters in what the artist refers to as ‘subvertising’.

In the late 90s, KAWS began making limited edition toys after visits to Japan and experiencing the collectible market there. His editions soon became cult objects amongst collectors and since then he has produced more than 130 toys.


KAWS’ latest paintings showcase his hallmark use of bold colors and bright lines, transgressing into new creative territory with his hybrid characters now dissolving into fragmented fields of color.

‘Unrestricted by conventional contemporary artistic boundaries, KAWS’s multidisciplinary and evolving practice across contexts and in collaborative ways, is representative of today’s society and the need to connect. He continues to engage new audiences through a common language of vibrant visuals and pop cultural references and characters’ said Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV.

KAWS: COMPANIONSHIP IN THE AGE OF LONELINESS will be on display from September 2019 – April 2020 at NGV International, a definite recommendation when the visiting Melbourne!