Art » Umetnost| 75 lennium that KAWS would emerge from anonymity. Following a fateful 2008meeting with eminent French gallerist Emmanuel Perrotin (they were introduced by PharrellWilliams), hiswork started toattract the interest ofhigh-profilebrands likeNike, CommeDesGarçonsand Uniqlo. A few years later, or more precisely in 2013, he wouldbe ascribed thehonour of redesigning the “Moonman” statue that’s awarded at the MTV Awards, while an invitation would also soon arrive from Dior. It was while he was in Japan that mutual friends introduced him to Kim Jones, creative director of the men's collections of this historically important fashion company, who engaged him on a collaboration. This led to the creation of one of the most recognisable KAWS sculptures: the ten-metre tall “BFF” figure, produced from 70,000 pink flowers and featured as the runway centrepiece of the Dior show. It was during the same period that KAWS became an important player in the art establishment, with his works being etched into collective perception and the public consciousness, evenbeyondgallery circles. Known for his slightly arrogant statement “When someone talks about my work in the context of street art, I wonder what he’s looking at”, KAWS would dedicate a good part of his work to the conventional exploration of spatial sculpture. And his Companions took onmonumental proportions through the Holiday project - floating on their backs in a Hong Kong harbour, reflecting the blue surface of Seoul’s SeokchonLake and chilling at the foot of Mount Fiji. And auction prices grew to match his growing influence. “The KAWS Album”, a KAWS-ified version of The Beatles’ famous Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, sold for a dizzying $14.8million in 2019, outdoing even the most extravagant predictions. For someonewhohas so effortlessly entered the annals of the history of the art of this digital age, KAWS is blissfully ignorant of the astronomical sums paid for his works on the market. “You’re not making the work to sell it at auction,” he explains. “That work – if you’re talking about a particular work that went for a record price – wasmade over ten years before.This ismy body of work. And everything I make falls into that history of the work. You have to guide that, because it’s going to be stuck with you, 20 years from now.” Viewing his work in the context of MidtownManhattan’s Rockefeller Plaza, where Companion and BFF stand side-by-side with the gilded, shimmering symbols of the planet’s capital city, returning him in his glory to the New York streets that represent his creative origins, it seems that KAWS’ signature will feature on art maps for much longer than just these few decades. Njegovi radovi poprimaju monumentalnu prirodu kroz projekat Holiday His work took on monumental proportions through the Holiday project Kad neko o mom radu govori u kontekstu ulične umetnosti, pitam se u šta gleda, kaže KAWS When someone talks about my work in the context of street art, I wonder what they’re looking at, says KAWS FOTO: / MEMEME / Alamy FOTO: / Angela weiss / afp FOTO: / Dominic Lipinski / PA Images