The Easel

17th September 2019

What the Rise of KAWS Says About the Art World’s Ailments

KAWS, who makes cartoon-based figures, boasts auction room clout and museum shows. Perhaps he will lead street art to credibility, just as Warhol did with Pop. Fine with popular culture icons being used in art, the writer argues that KAWS isn’t “doing a very interesting job of it. KAWS purges the intelligence of popular culture … Unintimidating to viewers and flattering to institutions, [these works] embody art at its most docile”.

11th September 2019

How Kenyan-Born Artist Wangechi Mutu Is Taking Over the Met

The façade of New York’s Met has four niches intended for sculptures. Empty for over a century they are about to be filled with part African, part futuristic female figures, cast in bronze. This is a signal gesture for an august institution attempting to connect with “the new and the global”. With a forgivable touch of exaggeration, the writer declares “an institution founded on … a Eurocentric view of culture is being turned on its head.”