KAWS, ‘Christy Turlington, Tokion Poster’, 1999, Forum Auctions

On smooth wove paper, published by Tokion, Los Angeles, with full margins, sheet 610 x 457mm (24 x 18in) (unframed)

This poster was originally distributed by the artist in a collaborative guerrilla marketing campaign with Tokion magazine in 1999. In the 1990s, Tokion commissioned KAWS to create the poster, inviting him to participate in the project as a representative of the new generation of graffiti artistsalongside other important figures from the 1980s US graffiti counter-culture movement such as Shepard Fairey, Twist (Barry McGee), Phil Frost and Perks (Misha Hollenbach). Each of these artists created a design for these original Tokion posters to be posted across America in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City and Seattle between July and September 1999. Examples of the present 'Christy Turlington Tokion' poster designed by KAWS were posted and distributed in the streets of San Francisco, with the majority being destroyed by the weather or the government's removal.

About KAWS

“KAWS” is a graffiti artist, illustrator, painter, sculptor, product designer, and toymaker. His cartoonish style—including his best-known characters with X-ed out eyes—has its roots in his early career as a street artist, when he began replacing advertisements with his own, masterful acrylic paintings in the early 1990s. Since, KAWS has embraced the commercialist spirit of Claes Oldenburg and Takashi Murakami, designing everything from Kanye West album covers to Nike sneakers. Avoiding the distinction between products and art objects, KAWS has shown his work increasingly in galleries and museums over the past decade; some of his most famous images are reimagined versions of pop characters like Mickey Mouse and the Michelin Man.

American, b. 1974, Jersey City, New Jersey, based in Brooklyn, New York