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Astro Boy (Gray), 2013

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Lot 78
Painted cast vinyl
15.0 x 6.5 in (38.1 x 16.5 cm)
Limited Edition
Stamped on bottom of foot


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Astro Boy was the central character in Osamu Tezuka’s manga series published in Japan throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Usually shown in various heroic poses, the manga hero is here transformed into a pathetic figure, balding and bent over in shame. As with all his characters, KAWS brands Astro Boy with his trademark "X," as a replacement of the character's original wide eyes. Since the late 1990s, the artist has produced toys that are intended to be circulated in both the global commodity and art markets. By dealing directly with branding, production, and distribution, his toys compel their collectors to consider what the commodity status of art objects is today.

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About KAWS

Considered one of the most relevant artists of his generation, KAWS (American, b. 1974) is the pseudonym of Brooklyn-based artist Brian Donnelly. World renowned for his ability to engage audiences outside of museums and galleries, KAWS straddles the line between fine art and global commerce, producing hard-edge paintings, murals, large-scale sculptures, street art, and designed collectibles. A former illustrator at Disney, KAWS regularly draws influence from iconic pop culture characters, infusing them with his own signature style to create bold and playful figures that explore notions of humanity. As seen in his collaborations with global brands, his imagery possesses a sophisticated humor and reveals a thoughtful interplay with consumer products. His work has been exhibited worldwide, even appearing in Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong in 2019, and is highly sought after by collectors both inside and outside the art world.