Inspired by pop culture icons, his works have a universal impact, one that appeals to all generations. As a graffiti artist, painter, illustrator, sculptor and publisher, KAWS discovered street art on the streets of Jersey City as a teenager, where he hung out with his skater friends.
Graduating from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1996, he made a name for himself by hijacking advertising posters, replacing the faces of the models with a pirate skull named Skully. His universe is populated by characters from comics and cartoons, such as The Simpsons, Mickey Mouse, Snoopy and SpongeBob, which he revisits in a humorous way and on different scales, playing with the proportions and cultural references.
Specially commissioned by Kim Jones for his first Dior Men collection, KAWS has created a monumental sculpture representing his iconic "BFF" character, symbolizing the silhouette of Christian Dior and instantly recognizable by its X-shaped eyes, one of the American artist's signatures. They’re also to be found on the bee, the House code he reinterpreted, again at the request of the Artistic Director of Dior Men, with the bright colors and rounded lines characteristic of his visual universe.
Moreover, in 2008, this insatiably curious and multitalented artist designed the limited-edition cover of the Kanye West album 808s & Heartbreak. In 2016, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in Texas devoted a retrospective to him, "KAWS: WHERE THE END STARTS", which also toured to the Yuz Museum in Shanghai last year.