Tension 10 is a signed screen print on Saunders Waterford paper made by the renowned American artist and designer, KAWS in 2019. The print depicts a dynamic composition of graffiti inspired shapes rendered in bright and vibrant colours. The print is more abstract than other works produced by KAWS and the artist privileges a figurative pattern over depicting any of his notable cartoon characters, such as Chum, Accomplice and Companion.
The print is part of the Tension collection, which is composed of ten screen prints, all of which depict dynamic compositions of shapes and lines that capture the essence of KAWS’ artistic style which is characterised by an emphasis on colour and use of graphic shapes. Amongst the haphazard arrangement, KAWS’ signature crosses can be seen, a staple feature of the artist’s visual language.
Despite being made later on in KAWS’ artistic career, Tension 10 harks back to the artist’s youth and his time spent spray painting buildings in New Jersey where the artist grew up. KAWS continued to practice graffiti when he moved to New York in the 1990s and the artist’s origins in graffiti and street art have often led him to be compared to Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, two leading 20th century artists who emerged from the New York City graffiti subculture of the 1980s.