How Much is KAWS Art Worth? Street Art Value Guide

KAWS urban art value – in the Street Art Value Guide series. See also: Banksy, RETNA, Mr. Brainwash and Shepard Fairey art value guides.

As of 2019, KAWS art has earned over 50 million dollars at auction. His work has seen a large uptick in recent years, with major pieces commanding hundreds of thousands of dollars — even into the millions. That said, it’s not uncommon to find a smaller KAWS piece for hundreds of dollars. Heritage Auction House has sold pieces for as little as $500 or as much as $375,000. 

What is KAWS famous for?

KAWS is an urban artist who works mostly in the mediums of vinyl figures and commercial collaborations. Some of his best-known work is from these collaborations, including product designs for a Hennessy Cognac bottle, the musician Pharrell’s perfume line, and a purse for Nancy Gonzales. His 1.8 million Instagram followers make him one of the most popular urban artists working today.  

How did KAWS get started?

KAWS is an urban artist whose graffiti art was heavily influenced by animation, cartoon, and pop culture. He worked for years as a background artist for popular animated series including Doug, 101 Dalmations, and the seminal MTV series, Daria. His creation of the now-iconic KAWS “Companion” started as a cartoon graffiti sketch but has now led to vinyl figures, product designs, and even a 121-foot inflatable.

What kind of art does KAWS make?

kaws companion

KAWS makes vinyl figures (or “toys” as he calls them). He also has a habit for subverting popular cartoon characters of the 20th century, and has transformed characters from The Simpsons, Mickey Mouse, and even Sesame Street into a version of the KAWS companion. He also has designed streetwear for popular brands, Bathing Ape and Supreme as well as the album cover for Kanye West’s album 808s & Heartbreak. 

What is the most expensive KAWS work sold by Heritage Auctions? 

KAWS, Companion-Bus Stop (2001) sold at auction for $375,000 on July 22nd, 2019. It’s an iconic piece from KAWS’ impressive body of work, originally used as a way to subvert commercialized public space. Designed to look like a bus stop advertisement, the towering acrylic print features a KAWS Companion in the vein of Mickey Mouse. Inspired by the likes of Keith Haring and Basquiat’s subversion of public spaces, it demonstrates KAWS’ understanding of the power of urban art, as well as his place in that canon. 

How many KAWS works have been sold by Heritage Auctions?

Heritage Auctions has an extensive history with KAWS work, they’ve sold 827 of his pieces in total, with another 37 for sale in 2019. These sales represent a huge cross-section of KAWS’ work, from the high-end Companion-Bus Stop (2001) for $375,000 to many of his large KAWS companions, to even some of his glasses and branded toys. Heritage Auctions has a long and fruitful relationship with this artist. 

What is the value of KAWS’ art?

On the high end, KAWS’ can go for six figures. Many of his larger Companion figures sell routinely for over $100,000. Some of his more iconic pieces can sell for even three times that amount. Even smaller, lesser-known works like his Seein/Watching plush toy (2018) routinely sell for $500 or more. For more info on KAWS and how much his artwork has sold for check out the KAWs artist bio and value guide on Heritage Auctions’ site, where you can receive up-to-date information on all of his work; past, present, and future. 

Read More: Street Art Value Guide

Street Art Value Guide for Urban Art Collectors series answers the question “how to value street art”, compares urban art, and looks at the most popular street and urban artists with a focus on the value of their work.

Posted by Heritage Editorial

This article was written as a collaborative effort by multiple experts within the category at Heritage Auctions.

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