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Kaws

United States Born in: 1974 Emergent Artist

Brian Donnelly, aka Kaws, is an American artist and designer born in 1974 in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA. As a street artist, painter, illustrator, sculptor, publisher, his work touches on everything that surrounds the world of Pop Art.

After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Art in Illustration in 1996 from the School of Visual Arts in New York, Kaws briefly worked for Disney as a freelance animator. Today he lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Kaws began his career in the 1990s with street interventions. He superimposed his own work onto billboards, bus stops, and phone booth advertisements. As he became more well-known, his ads were taken down and collected by people. He created or reused well-known characters from comics and cartoons in his offbeat imagery. Subjects like the Michelin Man, the Simpsons, Mickey Mouse, Snoopy, Sponge Bob, are all common figures rooted in the collective imagination that allows the artist to adopt a universal language. Kaws's goal is to make art accessible to all. He signs all his creations with a very particular trademark: figures with crossed-out eyes, making his style easily recognizable.

After becoming famous, he appropriated different techniques and extended his artistic production to the world of sculpture and painting on canvas. The passage from 2D to 3D works is motivated by his search for greater mastery of space and reality. His sculptures can reach monumental dimensions. Some of his giant characters have been exposed in front of museums, and they never fail to draw the attention of passers-by.

Kaws's work is influenced by Pop Art, but also by artists such as Gerhard Richter, Claes Oldenburg, or Chuck Close.

As an established artist on the international scene, Kaws blurs the line between art and product design. He works with major brands such as Nike, Vans, DC Shoes, Uniqlo. He has also established a presence in the music and film industry, collaborating with Kanye West, Burton, Pharrell Williams, and many others.

Kaws has exhibited his work in some of the most famous galleries and museums around the world. His works are a part of several permanent collections such as that of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX, the Brooklyn Museum, NY, or the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, CA.

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