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Ups And Downs 5

Ups And Downs 5
Signed Print

KAWS

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

Critical Review

Ups And Downs 5 is a signed screen print in colours on Saunders Waterford High White paper made by the bold and daring American artist and designer, KAWS. The print depicts a cartoon character’s hand, rendered in beige. The hand appears to be covering the character’s mouth however the close-up angle makes it difficult for the viewer to discern what the image is showing. The mouth appears to be screaming, which brings a sinister air to the print. KAWS uses bright colours in this print, which contrasts with the sombre expression and emotions being captured in the print.

As the title of the collection hints, Ups And Downs investigates different mental and emotional states, and the contrast between colour and emotion in this print captures the variable and fluctuating nature of one’s mental well-being. The collection was made in 2013 in order to mark the opening of KAWS’ exhibition of the same name at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas.

The print captures the essence of KAWS’ unique visual language, characterised by an emphasis on colour, use of bold gestural lines and incorporation of a set of distinct graphic shapes. As is seen in this collection, KAWS often appropriates cartoon and graphic imagery in his artworks, which reflects the artist’s origins as a freelance animator for Jumbo Pictures.