It won’t come as any surprise that we’re art fanatics here at The Coveteur—how could we not be when we come face-to-face with Warhols, Basquiats and Keith Harrings on the regular (and that was just at the Hilfigers’!). But there’s one artist in particular that induces schoolgirl-squeals—we admit it, we’re krazy for Kaws.
Kaws (aka New York-based artist Brian Donnelly) is like Kid Robot gone couture—prints and designer art-toy hybrids that have adult collectors drooling like a kid at the FAO Schwartz candy bar. A taste? Statues look like they’ve been tilted sideways and dip-dyed in nuclear waste, exposing neon organs and muscles made of vinyl—a cartoon-y version of those creepy half-skinned models from doctor’s offices and high school health class.
Then there are the highlighter-bright prints and trippy artist renderings of characters like The Simpsons and Snoopy, coolest of which may just be the three-eyed Mickey Mouse that would’ve scarred our three-year-old selves for life, but has our grown-up selves ready to fork over a paycheque to get our hands on one. Jewelry designer to the stars (and total Kaws-fiend) Ben Baller got his as a gift from Hong Kong actor Edison Chen.
“[Chen is] a big sneaker-head, streetwear ambassador and model,” says Baller. “He’s connected big time! He has had a few 1000% Bearbrick collaborations, which is like a Bucket List thing for me to have or do.” Fact: At one point, Baller also owned the largest collection of 1000% Bearbricks on earth. “I collected these since 2003 when the Kaws one dropped in Tokyo and ever since I've been hooked. I find these all over the country and almost never in L.A. from London, Paris, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tokyo. Over the span of eight years, I acquired around 44 total 1000% size Bearbricks, including the ever-so-rare CHANEL x Karl Lagerfeld edition, which I had 2 of; one was stolen! These were a huge part of my life and art collection. I had to auction them off at Guy Hepner gallery in March 2012 because I didn't have the space in our new house… and I had to grow up!”
Parisian model and actor Audrey Marnay got her technicolor tetraptych Kaws print as a birthday present, and was given a Coco Chanel Kubrick from the German juggernaut himself… for Christmas!
Our latest Kaws run-in was with Lauren Rubinski of Pristine Jewelry, who let us plaster her Kaws in YOU’VE BEEN COVETEUR’D stickers; art on art on art – that’s some meta sh*t right there. Totally Kawsome!