KAWS nails 6 of top 10 prices realized at Heritage Urban Art Auction

urban art

KAWS (American, b. 1974-), 4FT Dissected Companion (Black), fiber-reinforced plastic, 50 x 20-1/2 x 13 inches (127 x 52.1 x 33 cm), Produced by Medicom Toy and OriginalFake. Sold for $137,500. Heritage Auctions image

DALLAS – Multiple records for artists and for individual prints were set in Heritage Auctions’ Urban Art Auction which realized a total of $2,737,160 in Chicago. Absentee and Internet live bidding was provided by LiveAuctioneers.

KAWS artwork claims six of top 10 results

The July 22-23 auction boasted sell-through rates of 96.7% by value and 93.1% by lots sold, and benefitted from the visibility gained at a pre-auction viewing at ComplexCon, which drew high traffic, especially at the replica bus stop that carried what turned out to be the auction’s top lot.

Several of the new records that were set, and six of the top 10 prices realized in the sale, were from artwork by KAWS, one of the art world’s most sought-after contemporary artists. Other artists whose works contributed significantly to the strong final results included Yoshitomo Nara (pictured), Stik and Banksy.

Some of the records that fell in the sale included:

  • KAWS Kate Moss, White Gloves, 2001: $51,250 – record for this print at auction
  • Banksy No Ball Games, 2009: $50,000 – record for this print at auction
  • KAWS Companion Incense Stand, 2013: $33,750 – record for this item at auction
  • KAWS Presenting the Past, 2014: $32,500 – record for this item at auction
  • KAWS You Should Know I Know, 2015, $32,500 – record for this print at auction
  • Daniel Arsham Future Relic, Complete Excavation Set of Nine, 2013-18: $25,000 – auction record for the artist
  • Alec Monopoly Piano, 2010: $20,000 – world record for Alec Monopoly at auction
  • Josh Sperling Untitled, 2015: $18,750 –world record for Josh Sperling at auction
  • Damien Hirst Cafe Royal, 2018: $11,250 – record for this print at auction and record for the series at auction
  • Kurt B Kintsugi Honey Bear, 2019: $8,000 – the first piece of functional glass art ever sold at a major international auction house
  • Matt Gondek Simpsons Nuclear Family, 4ft Statue, 2018: $7,187.50 –world record for Matt Gondek at auction
  • Super Future Kid You & Me and Me & You, 2018: $1,625 – world record for Super Fun kid at auction

“KAWS is one of the most popular contemporary artists out there, and his works are in extremely high demand,” said Leon Benrimon, a Director of Modern and Contemporary Art at Heritage Auctions. “His widespread popularity is underscored not just by the top lot, but also through the strong showing by his art at the top end of the auction.”

Among the top results in the sale were a pair of works by the Brooklyn-based artist: KAWS 4FT Dissected Companion (Black), which drew bids from 18 collectors before closing at $137,500; and KAWS Untitled (MBF), 2015, which sold for $118,750.

urban art

Yoshitomo Nara (Japanese, b. 1959), Sleepless Night (Sitting), 2007, Mixed Media Sculpture, 11 x 6-3/4 x 5-7/8 inches (27.9 x 17.1 x 14.9 cm), Ed. 293/300. Sold for $81,250. Heritage Auctions image

Nearly a dozen collectors made bids for Yoshitomo Nara Sleepless Night (Sitting), 2007, until it realized $81,250, more than doubling its low estimate. The 11-inch figure is deceptive, initially appearing small and even cute before giving way to an unsettling expression of restlessness.