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 LICHTENSTIEN 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. Call For Value
"Art should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further.“ – Keith Haring
Between flowers and sex there has long been an enduring link. For gay artists, in fact, the hermaphroditism of flowers – most have both pistils and stamens – has a particular symbolic appeal.
Throughout his life, from when he began in the late seventies up to his death in 1990, KEITH HARING produced work that was explicit around sex and sexuality. But sex, the symbol of the regeneration and transmission of life, soon becomes the vector of death when it appears in the early eighties as the specter of AIDS. This duality affects Keith Haring’s work and marks it deeply.
Following his 1987 diagnosis with AIDS, Keith Haring resolved to work harder than ever in his remaining years, creating pieces with a fervent speed, and devoting his art to social action in addition to personal expression. He died in February 1990, soon after Flowers Plate 5 was created.
In Flowers Plate 5, the silkscreen ink that Keith Haring used to create this print was allowed to drip down the paper, creating thin lines of colorful drips that stand out in contrast to the solid black lines.
FLOWERS PLATE 5 by Keith Haring is a Silkscreen created in 1990. Flowers Plate 5 is an edition of 100. Flowers Plate 5 is stamped and hand signed in pencil by the executor of the estate on the verso. For more information about Keith Haring or Plate 5 please contact the gallery. Call for value
Russell Young is a British-American artist best known for large silkscreen paintings using imagery drawn from recent history and popular culture. From an early age, he was powerfully drawn to the idealized drama of the American dream.
In school, he studied film, drawing, photography and graphic design. After college he moved to London and gained recognition photographing the early live club shows in the late 1970s of Bauhaus, R.E.M. and the Smiths.
His innate eye for movement landed him photoshoots for magazines and eventually his first record sleeve cover for the 1986 album Faith by George Michael. During this period he shot portraits of Morrissey, Björk, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, New Order, Diana Ross, and Paul Newman. In the following ten years he directed many music videos, working with artists ranging from the Brand New Heavies to Eartha Kitt.
In 1999, Russell Young gave up photography and directing altogether and began to concentrate on art and to devote himself to painting. Now in his art, he alludes to the great Pop artists of the past and reinvents bold, sometimes brutal, imagery while bearing witness to the ambition and glamorous excesses of twenty-first-century America.
Art Historian John Finlay said "His large silkscreen paintings of popular culture [show] a creative individual steeped in contemporary glamour, his work expressive of the shock and awe of fame, or those in close proximity to its glare and grit.”
MARILYN PORTRAIT (RED) (2014) from the portfolio Marilyn Portrait by Russell Young is a hand-pulled acrylic and enamel silkscreen on paper. Marilyn Portrait (Red) is an edition of 25 and is signed and numbered. For more information about Russell Young or the Marilyn Portrait Portfolio, please contact the gallery. SOLD
"There is one thing that connects me with PABLO PICASSO and ANDY WARHOL: We all like cars, but we don't have a license." – HEINER MEYER
German Pop Art artist Heiner Meyer has been providing us with insights into our psyche and consumer behavior for almost forty years. Unlike the Pop Art movement, which focused on the individual everyday object, Heiner Meyer’s work emphasizes the stream of juxtapositions of images that are fed into our daily lives.
Heiner Meyer, born in 1953, lives and works in Bielefeld, Germany. He was a master student at the Academy of Fine Arts Braunschweig and SALVADOR DALI'S assistant in the early 70s.
In his work we see images like pin-up girls posed next to Mickey Mouse, Paris Hilton competing with glamorous icons like Marilyn Monroe, and Oil Company logos on soup cans. The 2016 portfolio Masterpieces in Oils is both a play on words and reference to Andy Warhol’s famous Soup cans of the 1960s. The 10 screen prints feature companies like MOBIL OIL, Shell, Sinclair, ESSO, and more.
The placement of oil labels on soup cans creates a very visceral reaction in the viewer. You can almost imagine yourself trying to eat or drink the oil straight out of the can and what it could possibly taste like. It is an effective commentary on our consumption of oil as a society.
SHELL FROM THE PORTFOLIO MASTERPIECES IN OILS (2016) by Heiner Meyer is a Screenprint (multi-colored) on handmade paper. Masterpieces in Oils: Shell is an edition of 60 and is hand-signed and numbered. For more information about Heiner Meyer, or the portfolio Masterpieces in Oils, please contact the gallery. Call for value
Communism probably isn't the first political movement you’d think to associate with Andy Warhol. The king of Pop art was best known for work that glorified postwar American consumer culture, from artwork of CAMPBELL'S SOUP CANS to celebrities like MICK JAGGER, and for his glitzy presence in high-society New York City.
But ANDY WARHOL had an interesting relationship to the socialist and communist movements of the 1930s and 1940s. He grew up in an immigrant family from present-day Slovakia in Depression-era Pittsburgh. His poor neighborhood had strong ties to Communist-lead activism and union organizing.
However, artist and curator Yevgeniy Fiks at the Warhol Musuem says “Warhol hated the social class into which he was born. He wanted to get out,” Fiks says. “He grew up super poor. A bottle of Coca-Cola wasn’t something his family could afford every day. So it’s funny and contradictory that when he grew up, he had this idea of consumerist culture as something very democratic — that in America, everyone could drink Coca-Cola — the President, Elizabeth Taylor, you.”
But most believe that Andy Warhol’s portraits of Communist leaders like MAO and LENIN, as well as his hammer and sickle series, weren’t personal political statements so much as they were images of celebrities and iconography in the popular imagination. But the context of his upbringing complicates one’s understanding of these works. “What’s the exact nature of the connection between Warhol’s making a portrait of Lenin in the 1970s and his memories of banners bearing Lenin’s image during Communist demonstrations in Pittsburgh in the 1930–1940s?” Fiks asks.
RED LENIN AND BLACK LENIN (1987) by Andy Warhol are screen prints on Arches 88 paper. Red Lenin and Black Lenin is referenced in Feldman II.403 and Feldman II.402. Red Lenin and Black Lenin are editions of 120. Black Lenin is signed and numbered. Red Lenin is signed and stamped on the verso by the estate. For more information about Andy Warhol or if you are interested in purchasing Red Lenin and Black Lenin, please contact the gallery. SOLD