b. 1974
11 artworks
In 22 collections on Artscapy
£920 — £4,100


Brian Donnelly, known globally by his professional moniker KAWS, is an iconic figure in contemporary American art and design. Born on November 4, 1974, KAWS has cultivated a unique niche that traverses the realms of art and commerce with unparalleled finesse. His body of work is distinguished by the recurrent use of a set of figurative characters and motifs that have evolved from 2D paintings to sophisticated 3D sculptures over the course of his career, which took off in the 1990s. These characters range from original creations to ingenious reinterpretations of existing icons, showcasing KAWS's adeptness in blending pop culture with fine art.

The scale of KAWS's sculptures is as varied as the materials from which they are crafted, spanning from modestly sized pieces to towering structures over ten meters in height. Employing an array of materials such as fiberglass, aluminum, wood, bronze, and even steel pontoon inflatable rafts, his sculptures defy conventional categorisation, inviting viewers into a world where art is both accessible and enigmatic.KAWS's artistic influences are as eclectic as his creations, drawing inspiration from high art luminaries like Gerhard Richter, Claes Oldenburg, and Chuck Close. Yet, his ability to bridge the gap between commercial appeal and fine art sophistication has drawn comparisons to Andy Warhol, highlighting KAWS's skill in navigating the complex interplay between market demand and artistic integrity.

His artworks not only grace the halls of galleries and museums worldwide but are also part of the permanent collections of prestigious public institutions, signifying his status as a highly collected artist. Esteemed personal collectors include notable figures such as music producer Swizz Beatz, internet personality PewDiePie, and musicians Pharrell Williams and Kid Cudi, as well as members of the global pop sensation BTS. This diverse collector base underscores the wide-reaching impact of KAWS's work across different cultures and industries.

Residing and working in Brooklyn, New York, KAWS continues to expand his creative repertoire through sculptures, acrylic paintings on canvas, and screen prints. His commercial collaborations, which predominantly focus on limited edition toys, extend to clothing, skateboard decks, and a variety of other products, further cementing his status as a visionary artist who deftly merges the commercial with the conceptual. KAWS's representation by Skarstedt Gallery in New York is a testament to his enduring influence and significance in the contemporary art world.

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