Beautiful Losers is an offset lithograph in colours on smooth woven paper produced by the critically acclaimed and internationally celebrated American artist and designer, KAWS in 2006. The print shows the poster for an exhibition held at the Contemporary Arts Centre in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rendered in black and white, the poster depicts KAWS’ beloved cartoon character, Companion, who has just been beheaded by an axe.
The sketching in this print captures KAWS’ skill as an excellent draughtsman. The artist studied illustration at the New York School of Visual Arts, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in1996. KAWS then put his studies into practice, working as a freelance animator for Jumbo Pictures, where he worked on designing the backgrounds of much-loved animation series such as 101 Dalmatians, Daria and Doug.
Beautiful Losers is part of the Companion collection, a body of works which all depict Companion, a cartoon figure created by KAWS in 1999. Conceived of in 2D, Companion has since been realised in 3D. The Japanese toy company Bounty Hunter produced and sold a vinyl Companion toy and later, in 2012, Companion was adapted into a balloon for the 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, as part of its "Blue Sky Gallery" of balloons. Having already created oversized sculptures in the past, KAWS started producing additional sculptures of Companion for exhibitions in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Málaga, London and China.