KAWS it’s possible

Starting off vandalizing properties and subvertising ads on billboards and bus shelters in the early ’90s was never deemed the proper path to become one of the most recognized artists of the 21st century. The American artist, designer Brian Donnelly known professionally as KAWS, did eventually graduate from art school and commenced a career that became immensely influential for his creations of graffiti, paintings, and prints, yet he is mostly recognized for the repeated style of artistry on figurative characters and motifs as well reworked creations of existing icons, that embed his signature of “x”s on eyes, hands and wherever deemed fit to identify his work.

KAWS Toys

Introduced in 1999 as a toy figure for a Japanese brand, “Companion” the Mickey Mouse inspired squatted resemblance with unmissable XX eyes was an instant hit, selling out the edition of 500 units immediately, since then many limited edition characters have followed such as Michelin Man, Snoopy, and Darth Vader are just a few of many. The figurines vary from 11 inches up to 10 meters high that have become an instant exclusive collectible for the likes of Kanye West, Travis Scott, and Drake. The rarity of his special edition figures amplified desirability fetching from thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, making them a must-have collectible.
KAWS Mickey Mouse XX Eyes
KAWS Mickey Mouse XX Eyes

KAWS Collaborations

Since the success of ‘Companion” and KAWS broad artistic ability and exposure, collaborations have skyrocketed and aren’t to be unnoticed. Such the likes of Kim Jones Dior Menswear Collection 2019, MTV VMA Moonman Award 2013, Uniqlo clothing line, Nike collection capsule 2017 Jordan Brand Air Jordan’s KAWS x Air Jordan 4 Retro ‘Cool Grey’, Kanye West album cover 2008, and Pharrell Williams Comme Des Garcon for men and women fragrance 2014, and the list keeps growing.

KAWS Mickey Mouse & Cookie Monster
KAWS Mickey Mouse & Cookie Monster

World Tour

KAWS’s figurines and collaborations have become internationally desired, igniting a focus of many KAWS’s exhibitions that are initiated by large scale fiberglass installations or 40-foot balloon of “Weeping Companion” floating at Thanksgiving parade or lying on the surface of a lack. The enormous success of the large version of the inflatable Companion character earned a world tour of KAWS Holiday project, making stops in locations such as Virginia Beach, Qatar, Japan, Seoul, and Hong Kong. Recently due to the pandemic forcing many project cancellations, KAWS 20th anniversary of Companion was launched into space “Holiday Space” with an obvious astronaut suite, allowing for anyone to view the journey from the safety of their own home. The largest survey of his work is planned to take place in 2021 in his home town Brooklyn NY.
KAWS Mickey Mouse laughing friends

Conclusion

With such magnitude of success, KAWS frequency amplifies vast appeal to his fans as opposed to the art world critics who criticize his lack of content and originality. With an art tone of urbanity of many repeating images reflected on figures and paintings, it can only be universally understood surpassing any language and culture. As the KAWS culture continues to grow, so does the demand for his rarest creations, such as the Simpson Beatles album cover untitled the “Kimpsons” that auctioned for a cool $14.7 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, luring the attention of serious passionate collectors that are willing to seek out the rarest KAWS creation at any cost.
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