KAWS, born Brian Donnelly, is a trailblazing artist known for his ability to blend street art, pop culture, and fine art into a distinctive and captivating style. Born in 1974 in Jersey City, New Jersey, Brian Donnelly developed a fascination with graffiti art during his formative years. These early encounters with street art would lay the foundation for his future artistic endeavours.
The Emergence of KAWS
Brian Donnelly adopted the moniker "KAWS" in the 1990s as he began leaving his mark on the streets of New York City with his iconic "Companion" character. This skull-faced figure with X-ed out eyes and gloves quickly gained recognition in the graffiti world, marking the emergence of KAWS as a notable artist.
KAWS's transition from street art to the world of fine art was seamless. He began creating artworks on canvas, exploring themes that blended pop culture and introspection. His unique style drew attention and set him on a path towards international acclaim.
KAWS's Global Influence
KAWS's impact extends far beyond the art world. His signature characters have graced clothing, accessories, and collaborations with renowned brands, making him a fixture in the worlds of fashion and streetwear.
Over the years, KAWS's art has been exhibited in prestigious galleries and museums worldwide, solidifying his status as a contemporary art icon. His work is characterised by its ability to bridge the gap between high and low art, drawing inspiration from cartoons, action figures, and advertising while engaging with profound themes.
Collectors covet KAWS's artwork, with pieces often fetching record prices at auctions. His collaborations with notable brands and artists, from Nike to Dior and Pharrell Williams, have further propelled him into the limelight.
KAWS's hugely collectable figures, created as printed cast vinyl, are available at the Artmarket Gallery.