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Ups And Downs 1

Ups And Downs 1
Signed Print

KAWS

Screenprint, 2013
Signed Print Edition of 100
H 89cm x W 58cm

Critical Review

Ups And Downs 1 is a signed screen print in colours on Saunders Waterford High White paper made by the renowned American artist and designer, KAWS. The print depicts a close-up of a cartoon character. Rendered in bright and bold colours, this print encourages the viewer to imagine what lies beyond the composition. Two bulging eyes can be seen in the centre of the composition, one pale green, and one beige. KAWS crosses out the yellow pupils of the eyes with large blue crosses. Crossed out eyes are a trademark feature of KAWS’ visual language and have become a signature element of his artworks.

The print is one of 10 silkscreen prints that compose the Ups and Downs collection. This collection was produced to mark the opening of KAWS’ solo exhibition, Ups And Downs, at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas. By 2013, when this print was made, KAWS had become an internationally acclaimed artist whose work was highly sought after in the art world. KAWS’ prints were being sold for 6 figures and he had put on five museum shows within the space of only three years.

This print captures the essence of KAWS’ distinct artistic style, characterised by an emphasis on colour, bold gestural lines and a set of distinct graphic shapes. KAWS’ style was influenced by the graffiti and street art he was exposed to while living in New York in the 1990s. KAWS’ experience studying Illustration at the New York School of Visual Arts, as well as his time working as a freelance animator for Jumbo Pictures also clearly marks his visual style.