What is so special about KAWS?

Uniqlo has been open for a long time. It’s not surprising that people line up for several kilometres to buy designer collaboration models. However, on June 3rd people swarmed in before the fence was rolled up to buy KAWS x Uniqlo, which was the first time.

These great rewards for Uniqlo’s rushing behaviours circulated on the Internet are preheated and carefully planned marketing by Uniqlo. This marketing is related to two dolls with “X X” eyes. Many people may not even know their names. The image with “X X” eyes on the top of the head is called BFF, and the image with “X X” eyes on the face is called “COMPANION”.

This is a character created by American trend artist KAWS. In recent years, it has appeared more and more frequently in various places. For example, it turned out in the 2018 Apple conference video “Behind the Mac”, Apple’s outdoor billboard, Changsha International Financial Centre, on the sea surface of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, and on the desk of a colleague.

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How to identify the cartoon character with “X X” eyes?

KAWS‘s works mainly include street art, paintings, giant sculptures and toy decorations. In the past few years, he has mainly sold 13 unlimited toys, including 8 COMPANION, 2 BFF, and 3 Small Lie. These humanoid toys use the simple symbol “X X” to represent the eyes, and it is also one of the most important marks in KAWS’s work. KAWS was dominated by street text graffiti in the early days, but in the current stage of artistic creation, he wanted to use a simple form to retain the early style characteristics, so he used the symbol “X”.

Among the three lines, the COMPANION with skull and cross skull is the most widely spread and the most representative. It is a work inspired by Disney Mickey by KAWS in 1999. Why does COMPANION have no mouth? KAWS’s answer is “I especially don’t want him to talk, so I didn’t give him a mouth.”

The KAWS dolls usually have their heads slightly downwards, with no smile on their staid faces, revealing a strong sense of loneliness. These dolls can express completely different meanings according to different colours, materials, and movements, but they always reveal a sense of loneliness.

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An artist with a market value of hundreds of millions of dollars

KAWS, who is only 45 years old this year, still has works sold at a high price of 100 million Hong Kong dollars in his prime, which is not in line with the principle of “scarcity” in economics. But this also reflects from the side the tremendous power created by KAWS through unlimited sales of works, fun traffic marketing, and cross-border cooperation.

To some extent, KAWS has the status of successor to contemporary Andy Warhol in the art world. In the current art market, similar to KAWS, there are two artists, Yayoi Kusama and Takashi Murakami, who have created a market of hundreds of millions of dollars in derivatives other than the original works. When a single piece of KAWS sold for hundreds of millions of Hong Kong dollars in this year’s Hong Kong Sotheby’s spring auction, two other works by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, “Endless Net #4” and “Pumpkin (TWPOT)” were sold separately, including commissions of 62.4 million and 54.5 million Hong Kong dollars.

These artists are still producing a steady stream of works, co-branding with brands to issue peripheral derivatives, and creating artworks that are affordable for the public. A lot of money has been collected from fans, and at the same time it has created an aesthetic for the society and made some contributions to the aesthetic education of mankind. When artists cooperate more with fashion products and luxury goods, in the end, young people will pursue their works and derivatives as fashion brands. X-Playground provides 100% authenticated KAWS products, where you can buy KAWS figures and other collectibles without any concern. We offer domestic shipping to all orders. Buy your favourite KAWS figures now!