KAWS has several of his newest works on view at Manhattan’s Mary Boone Gallery. Upon entering the space, visitors are confronted with the artist’s most recognizable — some would say, overly recognizable — work, his Companion figure. They’re rendered in the form of several massive eighteen-foot wooden sculptures. It’s far smaller than his 60-foot MTV Moonman reinterpretation or his balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s still impressive though, simply because it’s tall.
Two of these towering wooden figures appear in an embrace of sorts while another is standing at a distance in an apparent state of distress. Perhaps there is a love triangle of sorts. The monumental sculptures are accompanied by three rather large cartoon-inspired paintings, each containing different iterations of obscured cartoon faces. Either KAWS signature “X” or hands hovering where eyes should be are showing. KAWS seems to be presenting us with varying interpretations of shame on a monumental scale. It’s Companion — that vintage-cartoon inspired sad/dead character — over and over and over again. Further significance is really anyone’s guess.