Running Chum I is a signed screen print made by the acclaimed American artist and designer, KAWS in 2000. In this print, KAWS depicts his beloved cartoon character, Chum using thick white lines against a plain black backdrop. Chum is rendered in a simpler style than in many of KAWS’ other prints, and the use of black and white differs from other works by KAWS which are characterised by their emphasis on colour. The print shows Chum in motion, running across the composition, imbuing the print with a sense of action.
The print can be seen alongside two other screen prints, each of which depict Chum running. While the three prints all show Chum, they each capture him from a different angle. Running Chum I is the only print that shows the character’s entire body.
KAWS is well known for his impressive collection of cartoon characters which he often incorporates into his artworks. Along with Chum, notable characters that re-appear throughout KAWS’ prints are Bendy, Accomplice and Companion. Chum was inspired by the Michelin tyre company mascot, the Michelin Man, originally drawn by the 20th century French cartoonist, Marius Rossilon. KAWS adapts this recognisable figure by rendering him in his signature artistic style, adding his iconic crossed out eyes and skull and crossbone head.