Spongebob and his Nickelodeon cartoon show have spent the past 20 years working their way into nearly every corner of popular culture, spawning a multimedia franchise that spans nearly 300 episodes and counting, two movies, several video games, endless merchandise, and even a well-received Broadway musical.
The show's success can be attributed to the relatable and ridiculous characters Patrick Star, Mr. Krabs, Squidward Tentacles, and a whole cast of misfits scattered throughout Bikini Bottom.
Despite originally airing in 1999, the characters never seem to age and time stands still for the citizens of Bikini Bottom — they all seem to be waiting for their big break but are stuck in their current situation. SpongeBob SquarePants hopes to make it as a professional fry cook but works a dead-end fast food job.
The artist KAWS, creating his own SpongeBob inspired art, KAWSBOB (RED) and KAWSBOB (BLACK), begs the question: Is SpongeBob the modern Mickey Mouse? In the 1960s, artists like ROY LICHTENSTEIN and ANDY WARHOL depicted the iconic Mickey Mouse as commentary on American pop culture. In the 2000s, Spongebob may represent the current youth culture and pop culture in America.
Like many of the savviest creatives, KAWS puts his individualized stamp on as many different creative projects as possible. “He is surely the only artist working with both Dior and Cookie Monster,” Ted Loos wrote in The New York Times. “His KAWS x Sesame Street collection debuted at Uniqlo in the fall.”
KAWSBOB (RED) by KAWS (2011) is a screenprint on wove paper. KAWSBOB (red) is an edition 99 out of 100. KAWSBOB (red) is signed and numbered. For more information about KAWS, or if you would like to purchase KAWSBOB (red), please contact the gallery.