Find out more about KAWS’ ‘Urge,’ browse prints & editions for sale & view the works wanted by active buyers right now.
Produced in 2020, Urge is a collection of 10 bold and vibrant screen prints in an edition size of 250. The collection is made by the iconic American artist and designer KAWS (born Brian Donnelly). Each print in the collection depicts KAWS’ much loved cartoon character, Companion. Characterised by his inflated skull and crossbones head, crossed out eyes and Mickey Mouse-like body and gloved hands, Companion has become a prolific figure, recognised worldwide and closely associated with KAWS’ name.
KAWS often incorporates Companion into his art and has an impressive cast of figurative characters that he repeatedly draws on in his artistic creations. Companion is one of KAWS’ oldest characters, first appearing in 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. Later, in 2012, Companion was adapted into a balloon for the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, as part of its “Blue Sky Gallery” of balloons. KAWS has gone on to produce additional sculptures of Companion for exhibitions in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Málaga, London and China.
Other notable cartoon characters created by KAWS include Accomplice, Chum and Bendy. Like Companion, these characters are repeated throughout KAWS’ artworks, recurring in different settings or in slightly different iterations. KAWS’ characters are often depicted in a shy and timid pose. As seen in Urge, in which Companion is depicted covering his mouth and nose with his hands, KAWS imbues these characters with a sense of powerlessness.
The Urge collection exemplifies KAWS’ distinctive visual style. KAWS’ prints are instantly recognisable, not only due to his use of original cartoon characters and repeated motifs, such as crossed out eyes, but also because of his emphasis on colour and use of bold gestural lines. KAWS’ style and use of the screen printing technique has meant the artist is often likened to Andy Warhol, the pioneer and father of the Pop Art movement. KAWS’ cross-market appeal and wide-reaching popularity resonates with Warhol’s international fame and his ability to blur the lines between commercial and fine art, as well as ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture.
Like Warhol, KAWS is fascinated with popular culture and finds ways of appropriating popular icons into his art. While Urge showcases one of KAWS’ own cartoon creations, KAWS also turned to television for inspiration and adapted a range of well-known cartoon characters for his works. KAWS has redesigned notable characters such as Mickey Mouse, the Smurfs, SpongeBob Square Pants and The Simpsons. KAWS reproduces these characters in his distinct visual language, giving them skull and crossbone heads and replacing their eyes with Xs, his signature crossed out eye look.
KAWS’ excellent draughtsmanship can be traced back to his youth spent spray painting his hometown, New Jersey, as well as his studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York City where he honed his artistic talents, obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration in 1996. KAWS also worked as a freelance animator and worked on animation shows such as 101 Dalmatians, Daria and Doug.
How do I buy an Urge print?
One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of buying work by KAWS is by using us to reach a seller. MyArtBroker is a curated site, meaning we feature artists that our collectors say they want. You can find KAWS art for sale here. You’ll need to create a free account to buy or sell with us.
How can I sell my Urge print?
If you're looking to sell art by KAWS, click the link and we can help. We employ a number of techniques and practices in order to give a realistic and achievable valuation on any art listed on myartbroker.com. We analyse the demand for the work in question, take into consideration previous sales and auction valuations, we assess the current gallery valuation and monitor the current deals taking place via MyArtBroker every day. We regularly advise sellers on a price bracket for their artwork completely free of charge.