KAWS is by far my favorite artist. On the surface, one may look at his art and feel that it's not art at all. I mean, the guy simply defaces existing characters by putting x's over their eyes and crossbones through their heads. Anyone can do that right? Wrong. The exact reason that KAWS' art is somewhat insulting is the same thing that makes it great. KAWS has essentially taken some of the most iconic characters, some of the most famous brands, and made them his own. He is the the ultimate chameleon of not only art, but branding in general. It's amazing to me that KAWS can take characters as iconic as The Simpsons, Smurfs, or Spongebob, and completely change the image association that comes to your brain when you see their images in his art. Do you know how hard it is to show someone a swoosh and try to make it possible for the word "Nike" to not be the first word to pop into their head? Exactly.
When I read that KAWS was coming to Fort Fucking Worth of all places that he's been in the past, I nearly shit myself. Though the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is a great museum and an outright marvel in terms of structure, Fort Worth is definitely the last place that I ever thought I would see KAWS art. If I gave you a list of the following cities: LA, Tokyo, New York City, Fort Worth, which one seems out of place? Exactly. Nisha is currently going to school for art and to my surprise, loves KAWS as much as I do.
After browsing the permanent collection, we finally got to the see the KAWS exhibit. It's amazing how you can see pictures of something online and it looks amazing and then you can see that exact same thing in person and it's just as amazing but multiplied by 10. The sheer size of the both the paintings and the sculptures is breathtaking. I don't care how expensive your camera is, there's only so much that photos can capture, and seeing these pieces in person definitely proves that. The vividness and the contrast of the colors used in each painting, the balance of negative and positive, way certain colors seem to dance across the canvas and leap out at you, the precision and the placement of every line, the use of the entire canvas, even the sides. Absolutely stunning. There is a reason that people will pay ungodly amounts of money to have art like this in their homes. When I first walked into the room, I remember staring with this stupid grin, reminiscent of a teenager seeing a pair of boobs in person for the first time. That's the only way I can describe the feeling that I get from seeing amazing art. It's the feeling of not having to try to make sense of something, of just being able to fully immerse yourself in something and just be. Maybe KAWS isn't your thing, hell maybe art isn't your thing, but I encourage you to find whatever it is in life that gives you this feeling, and experience it in person. It's amazing.
Unfortunately photography wasn't allowed for this exhibit, but I did manage to get a few pics of the art that I saw from a few websites online. As amazing as these look in the pictures, they still aren't done justice. This exhibit will be at the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art through February 19th 2012, get more information here.