It’s been over a decade since KAWS has exhibited in Paris. Much has changed in the art world in that time, and especially so for the street artist-turned-global-icon — from his partnerships with Fortnite, AllRightsReserved and General Mills to his rotator belt of vinyl figures and a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. For his latest solo exhibition, KAWS reflects on the concept of time itself at Skarstedt Gallery‘s Paris location.
The works in TIME OFF stem back to NO EXIT, an earlier painting the artist created in 2020, during the height of confinement. Unlike the narrative depictions of the latter, KAWS’ latest paintings are more introspective — serving as a reflection on the fleeting nature of time. CHUM, the artist’s Michelin Man-inspired character, is seen throughout each painting, shackled between vibrant bars, imbuing a sense of isolation from the viewer. This sense of confusion and uncertainty begins to project outwardly in works, such as THE PRICE OF POWER and FOGGY FUTURE, the artist’s interpretation of the socio-political tensions of the present.
Despite the grim overtones, KAWS maintains a sense of optimism through his choice colors, invoking English poet John Keats’s idea of “negative capability” — or finding beauty out of darkness. A number of high profile celebrities were in attendance for opening day, including Pusha T and Louis Vuitton‘s new Menswear Creative Director, Pharrell Williams. Witness the exhibition for yourself, as TIME OFF is on view at Skarstedt Paris until April 22.
Across the channel, Banksy’s latest artwork was demolished shortly after completion.
2 Avenue Matignon
75008, Paris, France