For those of you not paying attention to recent pop culture news, New York artist KAWS' fantastical cover art montage—a cartoon-like image in red, purple pink and shades of blue swallowing up musical/sartorial/blogger sensation Kanye West—may prove to be more of a hit than the forthcoming album itself. Converging the world of animation, art and hip-hop, the work will appear on a special edition of Kanye's latest album â808 & Heartbreak.â
The extended version of the album is available on iTunes, Amazon and will be in stores on 16 December 2008.As Walt Disney (forefather of the corporation that KAWS once freelanced for), "Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive. This facility makes it the most versatile and explicit means of communication yet devised for quick mass appreciation." KAWS himself has a long history of bridging the pop culture medium incorporating a past of graffiti billboards, art school and creature design. On the commercial side of the fence he has produced limited editions with Bathing Ape, Burton, Nike, Vans and Commes des Garçons.
More recently, the artist has devoted considerable time to fine art with his first solo show on display at Gering & López Gallery in New York. (See info below.) Works in the show range from geometric acrylics on canvas to bronze sculptures of the artist's head and a life size rendition of one of his better-known toy figures, demonstrating his prowess to navigate through multiple mediums.