Born Brian Donnelly, KAWS is a Brooklyn-based artist and designer who has established himself is one the most prominent heirs of Pop Art. After graduating from the School of Visual Arts in New York, he briefly worked as a freelance illustrator on Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. This fascination and affinity for cartoon and illustration has carried over to his artistic career. He is known to include reworked cartoon icons such as characters from the The Simpsons, SpongeBob SquarePants or the Smurfs as well as the advertisement personalities like the Michelin Man. Gradually expanding his imagery, the artist also invented his own host characters including his most recognizable creation, COMPANION, a cartoon Mickey-Mouse like body and gloved hands, skull-and-crossbones head with X-eyes. In exploiting the sentimental potency of iconic imagery, KAWS playful and psychologically charged oeuvre infused with humour, humanity and affection for our times, celebrates generosity, support for others and the deep need we have for companionship. KAWS has gained undisputed prominence in the market with his reconceptualization of popular culture’s most beloved icons within the discourse of contemporary art.

“ There’s no meaning to it. It’s just letters that I liked—K-A-W-S. I felt like they always work and function nicely with each other. ”


available artworks