CHUM (Black), 2010
Fiberglass and paint
Courtesy of the artist

CHUM is part of KAWS’s cast of characters created in response to cartoons and advertising figures from popular culture. He is a reference to the Michelin tire company’s mascot Bibendum, known as “The Michelin Man,” whose body is composed of stacked automobile tires. CHUM stands confidently, with hands on hips, while his crossed-out eyes suggest that he possesses an altered state of awareness that allows him access to another dimension of reality apart from the visible world. CHUM was created after a smaller version, which was produced in multiple as an edition by KAWS in 2002. CHUM first appeared in paintings in 1999 and was the cover image for EXPOSED, the first book published on KAWS, which featured his street interventions from the 1990s.