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All about KAWS’ work

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All about KAWS' work

KAWS is an artist known for his work on clothing, murals, and prints. Those familiar with the artist’s iconic character designs may not be surprised to learn that these works were never intended to be seen on their own. They are all part of a much larger narrative and story that adds meaning to every piece of art released by the artist. These stories often reference other artists such as Andy Warhol, Bernini, and Da Vinci.

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In his various works, KAWS has also integrated his iconographic figures and the brand’s slogan, “Fake Fake.” The artist made headlines when his retrospective exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum ended earlier than planned due to complaints from visitors about KAWS’ work being too loud and distracting. Since he began exhibiting his paintings and sculptures on clothing, the artist has collaborated with many high-end brands such as Supreme, Vans, and BAPE on limited edition pieces.

All about KAWS' work

The Murals

KAWS began working in New York City in 1993. His first mural featured his signature character, “COWBOY,” and was painted on the wall of Crosby Street hotel. The artist also began producing T-shirts to sell at his studio to finance art supplies. He worked alongside other artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf.

Influenced by the work of Basquiat, KAWS started painting murals in 1991 featuring his graphical character designs. These characters symbolize different aspects of New York City’s rich culture and history. The murals feature images of famous historical figures such as Sammy Davis Jr. and William Burroughs.

KAWS’ first mural for Supreme was painted on a wall in Chinatown in November 2012. The mural featured a furry, big-eyed character reminiscent of Mickey Mouse. In 2014, the artist created a mural inspired by Peanuts’ comic strip featuring Snoopy carrying a football. These paintings encourage people to stand back and look at them without any distractions so they can fully enjoy the details throughout the artwork.

The Clothing Collaborations

For his first exhibition in Paris, KAWS produced a video game-inspired t-shirt with the tagline “The story of a frog and a princess.” The artist intended this work to be viewed as an interactive story. The t-shirt featured a cartoon frog that would not stop running while being escorted by Princess Peach. He also designed a t-shirt with the slogan “Fake Fake,” which was sold in collaboration with Supreme, Vans, and BAPE brands.

In 2007, KAWS started collaborating with Vans on limited edition styles inspired by his artwork. The artist also produced a series of sneakers based on his paintings featuring Popeye and SpongeBob.

KAWS also received financial support from Nike through a partnership deal in which he was commissioned to produce a mural at the Air Force 1 store in New York City. This work was given to the artist by Nike as part of his collaboration with the company.


The fact that KAWS’ work has been connected with the topic of street culture and youth subculture is only further proof of its iconic value. In addition, the artist has successfully merged traditional figurative painting with street art in his unique style. This unique combination of style and subject matter makes KAWS one of the most famous artists in the world.