Dissected Companion (brown) is a signed screen print in colours with partial glaze, on heavy woven paper made by renowned American artist and designer, KAWS in 2006. The print depicts Companion, arguably KAWS’ most well-known cartoon character. Set against a pale background, Companion stands to the right of the composition, commanding the viewer’s attention. Half of Companion’s body appears normal, yet the other half shows the organs, muscles and skeleton that lie beneath the cartoon’s skin.
The print can be viewed alongside other works that are part of the Companion collection, a body of artworks dedicated to depicting KAWS’ beloved cartoon character. Dissected Companion (brown) also comes in a different iteration, Dissected Companion (black), in which Companion stands against a black backdrop and is given bright and bold, multi-coloured organs.
KAWS developed Companion while experimenting with graffiti in New York and he appears frequently in the artist’s works, characterised by his Mickey Mouse style body, skull and crossbone head and crossed out eyes. Along with Companion, KAWS has created other characters that frequently reappear in his works, such as Accomplice, Chum and Bendy. The artist’s creation of a stock of cartoon characters has led him to be compared to the prominent artist of the 20th century, Keith Haring, who similarly produced an impressive collection of repeated icons and motifs, such as the radiant baby, angel, flying devil and barking dog.