Man’s Best Friend 5 is a signed screen print on Saunders Waterford High White paper made by renowned American artist and designer, KAWS in 2016. The print depicts a pattern composed of thick white gestural lines against a black backdrop. KAWS embellishes the composition with curved lines, crosses and squiggles, making it hard for the viewer to discern what they are looking at.
When seen alongside the other prints in the Man’s Best Friend collection, it becomes apparent that the print depicts the beloved cartoon character, Snoopy, from the Peanuts comic strip. Throughout this collection, KAWS renders Snoopy in a sketch-like style, imbuing the prints with a looser, more expressionist style than many of his other works.
KAWS, who started out as a freelance animator working for Jumbo Pictures, has long been interested in cartoons and the role they play in society. Throughout his artistic career, KAWS has interrogated what cartoons mean to us, and the intersection between pop culture and fine culture. By taking a universally loved, popular cartoon character and transforming him into a limited-edition work of high art, KAWS challenges the dichotomy between high and low culture, much like his predecessor, Andy Warhol did in the 1960s.