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You Should Know I Know

You Should Know I Know
Signed Print

KAWS

Screenprint, 2015
Signed Print Edition of 250
H 95cm x W 82cm

Critical Review

This crossed out eye makes the work instantly recognisable as one of KAWS’. Since the late 90s, when he first made his name on the street by painting an uncanny cast of characters over advertisement panels in New York, KAWS has been creating figures that aim to disconcert the viewer with their uncanny mix of familiarity and creepiness. Here we can see the ghost of the artist’s most well known motif, the Companion character who started life as a limited edition vinyl toy which sold out almost immediately when it was released through Japanese cult brand Bounty Hunter in 1999. Since then Companion has appeared as numerous other editions of the vinyl toy, as well as a blimp in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a sell out Uniqlo t shirt, a giant inflatable floating in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour and a monumental sculpture in Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Originally depicted as a figure with a skull and crossbones head wearing Mickey Mouse shorts and gloves, the figure is arguably responsible for making the XX eyes a KAWS trademark.

With You Should Know I Know and many of his other screen prints KAWS appears to be further developing his early fascination with cartoons and the possibilities for accessibility when making art. His original ‘subvertisements’ and other graffiti interventions aimed to bring art to the everyman, to reach kids and collectors alike. And while his paintings now sell for six figures at auction, his prints show he is still in touch with the countercultures that first inspired him.