About This Work:
Brian Donnelly, born in 1974, is a New York – based artist, professionally known as KAWS.
In 1999 KAWS began to design and produce his first limited-edition vinyl toys with Japanese clothing brands and companies. That seemed to be the right country for the beginning of his career, because in Japan, the toys genre is well respected and widespread.
KAWS’ work is characterized by repeating images, all meant to be universally understood, surpassing languages and cultures. He is greatly influenced by iconic characters from modern pop culture. KAWS uses four main characters: Companion, Accomplice, Chum and Bendy. They riff on Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, the Michelin Man and a giant spermatozoa. Their relationship to Donnelly hovers somewhere between avatar, id, conscience and inner child.
KAWS’ work treads the fine line between art, commerce, cartoons, and commercials. It distorts, yet at the same time, pays homage to, all the popular objects and icons produced, bought, sold, exchanged, desired, and cherished; the essence of American consumerism. His artworks transform iconic pop culture characters into thought-provoking works of art. His work possesses a sophisticated humor while employing a refined graphic language that revitalizes figuration with bold gestures, playful and cartoonish images.
A graffiti artist, illustrator, toy-maker, sculptor and painter, KAWS is now a world-renowned artist, who exhibits in museums and galleries internationally.