Contemporary art has witnessed the emergence of numerous influential artists, but few have made a mark as indelible as Kaws. With his distinctive style and iconic characters, Kaws has captivated art enthusiasts around the world. If you're a fan of his work and eager to explore similar artists, we've curated a list of six remarkable artists whose unique styles and artistic visions parallel Kaws' impact on the art scene. Let's dive in.


Joyce Pensato: (

Joyce Pensato, was a Brooklyn-born artist who sadly passed away in 2019. Her work stands out for her fearless approach to reimagining cartoon imagery. Like Kaws, Pensato drew inspiration from popular culture, specifically animated characters such as Mickey Mouse and Batman. However, she took it a step further by imbuing her paintings with a raw energy that challenges traditional artistic boundaries. Her bold brushstrokes, frenetic lines, and abstract expressionist approach create striking and slightly unsettling portraits. Pensato's works evoke a sense of familiarity while delving into the darker aspects of these beloved characters, creating a unique artistic dialogue.

Joyce Pensato


Futura: (

Futura, also known as Lenny McGurr, is a pioneering graffiti artist and contemporary painter hailing from New York City. With a career spanning over four decades, Futura has seamlessly transitioned from the streets to gallery exhibitions, leaving an indelible mark on the art world, much like Kaws. Futura's signature style revolves around abstract forms, dynamic lines, and vibrant colours. His compositions are visually captivating, reflecting his deep understanding of composition and movement. His work often explores the intersection between street art, pop culture, and fine art, creating a visual language that resonates with Kaws' influential blend.

Futura 2000


Takashi Murakami: (

Takashi Murakami, is a Japanese artist widely regarded as one of the most important figures in contemporary art. He shares similarities with Kaws in terms of their fusion of traditional and popular culture influences. Murakami's vibrant, eye-catching artworks often feature a cast of playful and fantastical characters that blur the line between fine art and commercial branding. Much like Kaws, Murakami's art embodies a dynamic mix of Japanese aesthetics, manga, and global consumer culture. His "Superflat" concept, which combines elements of traditional Japanese art with contemporary aesthetics, echoes Kaws' exploration of the intersection between art, commerce, and popular culture. We had the absolute honour of working with Takashi on the ComplexCon release back in 2018 and the process only made us love him more.

Takashi Murakami


Javier Calleja: (

Javier Calleja is a Spanish artist who brings a whimsical and thought-provoking touch to his art, much like Kaws. Calleja's distinctive style revolves around the creation of simple yet emotive characters with oversized heads and expressive eyes. These endearing figures often explore themes of vulnerability, isolation, and the complexity of human emotions. Calleja's works, like Kaws', evoke a sense of nostalgia while eliciting profound introspection. Through his sculptures, paintings, and installations, Calleja captures the essence of the human condition and invites viewers to reflect on their own emotions and experiences.

Javier Calleja


Yoshitomo Nara: (

Yoshitomo Nara is a Japanese artist who shares Kaws' ability to imbue seemingly innocent and cute characters with deeper emotions and narratives. Nara's works often feature childlike figures that confront viewers with a blend of innocence, rebellion, and introspection. With influences from manga and anime, Nara creates a unique artistic language that challenges societal norms and explores the complexities of the human experience. Much like Kaws, Nara's art transcends its initial charm, inviting viewers to reflect on themes of identity, loneliness, and the fragility of youth.

Yoshitomo Nara


Harland Miller: (

Harland Miller is a British artist and writer who employs a distinctive blend of pop art and literature to create visually striking artworks that draw inspiration from classic book covers. Miller's pieces often feature bold typography and witty, satirical phrases that resonate with viewers. Like Kaws, Miller's art blurs the boundaries between high and low culture, while injecting humour and social commentary into his thought-provoking works. By appropriating the aesthetic of book covers and incorporating clever wordplay, Miller's art engages with notions of nostalgia, literary references, and societal critique.

Harland Miller


Richard Orlinski: (

On our latest release with Steve Aoki we had the absolute pleasure of working with Richard Orlinski. A French contemporary artist who explores the intersection of art, pop culture, and consumerism, making him an artist to follow for Kaws enthusiasts. Orlinski is renowned for his dynamic and vibrant sculptures, often depicting animals and iconic pop culture symbols. Like Kaws, he merges high and low art by recontextualizing recognizable forms, imbuing them with a contemporary twist. Orlinski's sculptures, with their polished surfaces and sharp geometric edges, reflect his belief in the democratisation of art and the power of accessible aesthetics to inspire and engage a wide audience.

Richard Orlinski


If you love Kaws and his groundbreaking contributions to contemporary art, exploring the works of the artists we’ve covered will undoubtedly broaden your artistic horizons. Each artist, with their unique styles and perspectives, showcases the diverse ways in which art can engage with popular culture, challenge conventions, and leave a lasting impact on the art world. Embrace their creativity, delve into their narratives, and continue to be inspired by the artistic brilliance that echoes the legacy of Kaws.

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June 06, 2023

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