KAWS aka Brian Donnelly is taking the art world by storm. Humorous and satirical, his stock of cartoon-like characters with iconic branded X eyes have earned him fame and Pop status. With cuteish charm, his wry figures have moved from street art to high art and bridged art and design, creating a sensation and buzz akin to the early days of Banksy. Working with sculpture, painting, murals, drawing, product design and clothing, his approach has been likened to that of Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons.

BEGINNINGS

KAWS began his career studying illustration at the School of Visual Arts, New York after which he worked as a background painter for animation series. His work on Disney’s 101 Dalmations and Doug, developed his cartoon-like aesthetic which was honed in his unique graffiti work. From a young age, Donnelly’s tag ‘KAWS’ was known, appearing on buildings and trains around New Jersey and Manhattan throughout the 1990s. Chosen for its visual balance, he has explained that, “When your whole art is based on the lettering you choose, you kinda figure out what ones work together. I just liked the shapes of the k, a, w, s,”.

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