A typical KAWS work is not a wallflower; it loudly stakes its claim on your eyeballs with the most energetic colors possible.
“Brian is a sophisticated colorist,” said artist
, a rising star in her own right who previously worked in KAWS’s studio for several years. “His colors are bright, but not out-of-the-tube.” All of the artist’s acrylic pigments are made-to-order by Golden Paints. “He picks almost all of his colors ahead of time,” Curtiss explained, “everything is in his head, and it’s dead on—which puzzles me, as a painter, because I’m often wrong about color combinations and constantly need to make adjustments.
“Colors are the soul of his paintings,” she continued, noting that KAWS will pick a palette that can convey the mood for a whole series. “Sometimes, it looks as if he applied a colored filter over an entire painting, as if you’re looking at it with tinted glasses on.” She noted that the way he alternates warm and cool colors makes his compositions more vibrant. At times, at the studio, she recalled, “we’d have a hard time recognizing a color because of its placement next to another one; that would completely change our perception of it—a kind of optical illusion.”