Urge, No. 1is a signed screen print in colours produced by the critically acclaimed American artist and designer, KAWS in 2020. The print depicts KAWS’ beloved cartoon character, Companion. Rendered in a variety of warm colours, with reds and pinks dominating the composition, Companion is captured in the centre of the print, surrounded by hands trying to cover his face.
The print is part of the Urge collection, a body of 10 screen prints, all of which depict Companion surrounded by gloved hands. Companion was a cartoon character created by KAWS while he was spray painting the streets of New York. The cartoon is identifiable by its inflated skull and crossbones head, crossed out eyes and Mickey Mouse-like body and gloved hands. The gloved hands seen in this print mimic the gloved hands that belong to Companion and the crosses on them match Companion’s crossed out eyes.
Companion is one of KAWS’ oldest characters, dating back to 1999. Initially drawn in 2D, KAWS’ rise to fame led to the Japanese toy company, Bounty Hunter, commissioning KAWS to produce and sell a vinyl Companion toy. Companion has become an internationally recognised and much-loved figure and was even adapted into a balloon for the 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, as part of its "Blue Sky Gallery" of balloons. Companion’s worldwide popularity is a testimony to KAWS’ artistic talent and the mass appeal of his artworks.