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Christy Turlington Tokion Poster

Christy Turlington Tokion Poster
Unsigned Print

KAWS

Lithograph, 1999
Unsigned Print
H 61cm x W 46cm

Critical Review

Christy Turlington Tokion Poster is an offset lithograph printed in colours produced by the internationally acclaimed artist and designer, KAWS. Made in 1999 at the start of KAWS’ artistic career, the print depicts the Salvadoran-American supermodel, Christy Turlington. Turlington poses seductively, wearing nothing but underwear. KAWS comically adds one of his cartoon characters, Companion, to the composition, draping the cartoon around the model. Companion appears to be hiding timidly behind the woman, poking his head out over her shoulder.

This print is part of the Models collection, a body of prints that show famous models whose appearances have been modified through the addition of graphic features, such as crossed out eyes, Mickey Mouse hands and skull and crossbone heads. The collection explores themes of globalisation and consumerism, as each print shows a commercial image which has been defaced and appropriated by KAWS’ graphic designs.

As seen in this print, KAWS often incorporates cartoon characters into his artworks. Over the decades, KAWS has produced an impressive stock of cartoon figures and notable characters that reappear throughout his works are Chum, Companion, Accomplice and Bendy. KAWS’ cartoons are often depicted in shy poses, hiding behind objects or covering their faces with their hands. Characterised by their simple style, this timidity makes the cartoons all the more endearing.