5 Key Facts About KAWS Figures
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read

Contents

  1. Who is KAWS?
  2. What are KAWS figures?
  3. Why are KAWS figures popular?
  4. How to identify authentic KAWS figures
  5. Where to buy KAWS figures

Collectors, art enthusiasts, and pop culture aficionados—all have likely heard the name KAWS and the associated buzz around KAWS figures. These unique pieces of art have taken the world by storm, creating a significant impact in various circles. But what's all the fuss about? Let's delve into the world of KAWS figures and uncover the key facts that make them so intriguing.

Who is KAWS?

Before we dive into the realm of KAWS figures, it's important to understand the man behind the magic—Brian Donnelly, better known by his artist moniker, KAWS.

Background and Early Life

Born in 1974, Brian Donnelly hailed from Jersey City, New Jersey. His interest in art sparked during his high school years, leading him to study illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York. From his humble beginnings as a graffiti artist in the 1990s, Donnelly had an incredible journey that led him to become the renowned KAWS.

Artistic Style

KAWS is known for his unique blend of art styles which borrows elements from pop art and culture, as well as, street art. He is especially recognized for his bold use of color, reimagined cartoon characters, and the distinctive 'X' marks on his characters' hands and eyes. This unique style is what makes any KAWS figure instantly recognizable.

Transition to KAWS Figures

While KAWS started with graffiti, he soon expanded his creative horizon to include sculptures and toys, thus giving birth to the first KAWS figure. The idea was to make art more accessible to people, and it certainly worked! These figures, often based on pop culture characters, have become hugely popular, transforming KAWS into a household name in the realm of art toys and collectibles.

Global Recognition

From New York to Tokyo, KAWS has made his mark on the international art scene. His work has been exhibited in prestigious galleries and museums around the globe, and his collaborations with brands like Uniqlo and Nike have propelled his fame even further. But nothing quite captures the essence of KAWS like the KAWS figures, which have become a symbol of his artistic journey and influence.

What are KAWS figures?

Having established who KAWS is, let's now turn our attention to these remarkable KAWS figures that have garnered such a widespread following.

Nature of the Art

KAWS figures are essentially designer toys or art toys. These aren't your ordinary action figures or collectibles. KAWS figures are miniature sculptures, meticulously crafted and reflecting KAWS's unique aesthetic. They bring together the worlds of pop art, street art, and toy culture, creating a truly distinctive artistic expression.

Design and Features

One glance at a KAWS figure, and you'll notice certain standout features. The X-ed out eyes, the exaggerated hands and feet, and the reinterpretation of popular characters—these are all hallmarks of a KAWS figure. While the design varies from figure to figure, they all embody KAWS's signature style.

Variety and Collections

From Companion to Chum, Accomplice to BFF, there is an array of KAWS figures available. Each collection has its own distinct appeal and story, adding layers of depth to these seemingly simple figures. Whether it's a KAWS figure that's a playful take on a beloved childhood character or a more sober, reflective piece, there's something to cater to every taste.

Material and Size

Typically made from vinyl, KAWS figures are known for their high-quality finish and attention to detail. They come in various sizes, ranging from small enough to fit in your hand to larger-than-life installations. This versatility makes KAWS figures appealing to a wide range of collectors and art enthusiasts.

The Message

At the heart of every KAWS figure is a message. KAWS uses these figures to comment on society, popular culture, consumerism, and the human condition. So, when you're looking at a KAWS figure, you're not just seeing a toy—you're witnessing a piece of commentary, told through the unique language of KAWS's art.

Now that we know what KAWS figures are, it's time to dive into the reasons behind their sweeping popularity. Why have these art toys become a global sensation? Let's find out.

Cross-Cultural Appeal

KAWS figures, with their unique blend of pop and street art, have a universal appeal that transcends cultural boundaries. Whether you're in New York or Tokyo, London or Sydney, these figures speak a language that everyone can understand and appreciate.

Pop Culture Connection

From Mickey Mouse to The Simpsons, KAWS figures often draw from recognizable pop culture icons. This connection gives them an instant familiarity, making them relatable and attractive to a broad audience. Who wouldn't want a cool, artsy version of their favorite cartoon character, right?

Collectible Factor

There's something about owning a KAWS figure that makes you feel part of an exclusive club. The limited editions, the unique designs, the stories behind each figure — all these aspects make them highly sought-after collectibles. Plus, let's admit it, they look pretty awesome on a shelf!

Investment Value

KAWS figures aren't just cool toys; they're also seen as valuable investments. With the rise in KAWS's popularity, the value of his figures has skyrocketed. As such, many people buy KAWS figures not just for their artistic merit but also for their potential return on investment.

Connection with KAWS

Finally, owning a KAWS figure is like having a piece of KAWS's art in your own home. It's a way for fans to feel a deeper connection with the artist and his world. It's not just about the figure itself, but the experience and emotion it represents.

How to Identify Authentic KAWS Figures

So, you've decided to become a part of the KAWS figure community. That's awesome! But, before you take the leap, it's important to know how to distinguish the real deals from the fakes. Here are some tips to help you verify the authenticity of a KAWS figure.

Check the Details

First off, you should pay close attention to the details of the KAWS figure. Authentic KAWS figures have a specific style and finish that's hard to replicate. Look at the smoothness of the paint, the sharpness of the lines, and the symmetry of the design. If anything seems off or sloppy, it might be a counterfeit.

Examine the Packaging

Authentic KAWS figures come in a box with the artist's logo and the figure's name. The packaging should have a clean, professional look. If the box seems low-quality or has misspelled words, consider it a red flag.

Know Your Seller

Do your homework about the seller. Authentic KAWS figures are usually sold by reputable retailers or directly by KAWS's company, OriginalFake. If you're buying from a third-party seller, check their reviews and history. A seller with a good reputation is less likely to sell fake items.

Consider the Price

Lastly, be wary of prices that seem too good to be true. Authentic KAWS figures tend to be quite pricey due to their high demand and limited supply. If a figure is being sold for a significantly lower price, it's probably not authentic.

Remember, it's always better to be safe than sorry. Don't rush into buying a KAWS figure. Take your time, do your research, and make sure you're getting your money's worth.

Where to Buy KAWS Figures

Okay, you've got your detective cap on and you're ready to find your own authentic KAWS figure to add to your collection. The next question is, where do you start looking? Here are some places where you can find genuine KAWS figures.

OriginalFake

As the official brand of KAWS, OriginalFake is the number one place to look for KAWS figures. The figures here are always authentic, but keep in mind that they're often released in limited quantities. You'll have to stay updated about their release schedules to snag one!

Art Galleries and Auction Houses

If you're after the more exclusive KAWS figures, art galleries and auction houses are your best bet. These places often sell pieces from older KAWS series that are hard to find elsewhere. But, this also means that the prices can be a bit steeper.

Reputable Online Retailers

There are also several online retailers that sell KAWS figures. Stores like StockX, Grailed, and eBay often have a wide selection of KAWS figures. But remember, always check the seller's reputation and reviews before making a purchase.

And there you have it! Buying a KAWS figure is like going on a treasure hunt — it's all about knowing where to look and making sure the treasure is real. Happy hunting!

If you enjoyed learning about KAWS figures and are interested in exploring the world of sculpture, check out Andrew Joseph Keith's workshop, 'How to Sculpt a Skull'. In this workshop, you will learn the techniques and skills needed to create your own unique sculptures, which could be a great starting point for your artistic journey.