Entering the display space with a click of a mouse, you can journey through KAWS’ career: from the fashion advertisements he took from bus shelter advertisement shells and modified in the 1990s, to his larger than life, half-dissected Companion (Resting Place) created in 2013.
But perhaps the more notable shift in this exhibition is not from refashioning DKNY posters to casting monumental sculptures, but that from physical intervention to digital visualisation. Street art is the physical manifestation of a desire to make a mark on the world.
The street artist becomes part of the social landscape, and therefore the social imagination. Saying ‘I was here’ in this way is a longstanding human impulse – at Pompeii you can still see graffiti reading ‘Gaius Pumidius Diphilus was here’ and one of KAWS’ first tags is still visible on a wall near Saint Anthony High School in Jersey City.