This is KAWS’ first UK museum exhibition and it features 20 works; sculptures in bronze, fibreglass, aluminium and wood and bright shiny canvases.
KAWS started in the 90’s as a totally commercial artist and he doesn’t care – he got big making vinyl toys for Japan and now these have exploded into huge statues that shine in the Yorkshire sun. At first look it’s all fun and happy happy, but look for longer and there’s a kind of sadness present. With no eyes, no mouths, these creatures are downcast as if depressed by their inability to communicate; they just stand and stare with heads bowed down.
But it isn’t all bleak. More recent sculptures include children and family groups that hint to a more grown up, less anxious KAWS. This family of sculptures are at YSP till June when the family will again be broken up for their continuing global tour of global art hotspots. The word is that one will rest permanently at YSP, adding to the park’s collection with a touch of complicated toy town.