Man’s Best Friend 4 is a signed screen print on Saunders Waterford High White paper made by the American artist and designer, KAWS. Produced in 2016, the print comes in an edition size of 100 and shows an expressionist style sketch of the famous cartoon character, Snoopy, from the Peanuts comic strip. KAWS renders Snoopy using thick black lines against a white backdrop, which contrasts with the bright and vibrant colours KAWS often uses in his artworks.
Viewed alone, it is hard to discern what is being depicted in the print, however when seen with the other works in the Man’s Best Friend collection, it is apparent that the print shows a section of the beloved cartoon character.
Snoopy is not the only cartoon character that has featured in the artist’s oeuvre. KAWS often takes well-known cartoon characters and adapts them, using his signature visual language. Notable cartoons that KAWS has appropriated include The Simpsons, SpongeBob Square Pants and Astro Boy. As is seen in Man’s Best Friend 4, KAWS imbues these cartoon characters with his signature crossed out eyes, subverting the recognisable characters and adding a sombre, almost morbid air to them, which could be interpreted as a sardonic comment on globalised culture and the state of contemporary society.