This weekend I paid a visit to the recently opened KAWS exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
The park is an outdoor art gallery set in the Bretton Estate, covering 500 acres and has over 100 sculptures and indoor galleries which feature seasonal exhibitions by leading international artists.
I was first introduced to the park as an 18 year old art student attending a summer school based there. I recall at the time I was nursing a broken heart in a way that only a teenage art student can and spent my days there in solitude, wondering around the park with my sketch book in hand. The landscape of the 18th century estate combined with inspirational artwork by leading 20th century artists was just the fix I needed and left a lasting impression.
I’ve returned to the park many times over the years and this weekend’s visit was to see the monumental and imposing KAWS exhibition.
KAWS, born in 1974 in New Jersey, studied illustration at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan in the 1990s. By then he was already well versed in graffiti, having frequently tagged walls with the letters K A W S. KAWS continued developing his visual vocabulary conceiving his skull and cross-bone heads with X eyes, which would become his trademark style. After college he worked as a freelancer for animations studios, which further developed his stylised characters which are recognisable from popular culture and comic books.
Here are just a few of the highlights from the exhibition.
This is the first UK museum exhibition by the renowned American artist and is open at YSP until 12.06.16