Signed Print Edition of 100
H 89cm x W 58cm
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Celine Fraser, Acquisition Coordinator
Tension 8 is a signed screen print on Saunders Waterford paper made by the renowned American artist and designer, KAWS in 2019. The print depicts a unique and abstract composition of graffiti inspired shapes. It is impossible to discern exactly what the shapes are meant to be, however KAWS’ trademark cross is visible to the bottom right of the composition, a signature element of the artist’s visual language.
The print is part of the Tension collection, a series of ten screen prints, all of which capture KAWS’ love of graffiti and street art. KAWS’ passion for graffiti inspired his artistic career and deeply marks his visual style which is characterised by an emphasis on colour, the use of bold, gestural lines and a set of distinct graphics. KAWS spent much of his youth spray painting buildings in New Jersey, where he grew up, and continued practising graffiti and honing his skills in New York when he moved there in the 1990s.
It was through graffiti that KAWS created his stock of cartoon characters, such as Chum, Bendy, Accomplice and Companion. These cartoons have become deeply associated with the artist’s name and oeuvre. Unlike many of his other works, Tension 8 and the other prints in the Tension collection do not include any of these cartoon characters. It is clear, however, that the designs were clearly influenced by his experience spray painting and producing street art.