I Love Brian Donnely’s work! And for those who dont know, Brian is also known as KAWS. He is natural of Jersey City, New Jersey. He graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in illustration in 1996. After graduation, KAWS briefly worked for Disney as a freelance animator painting backgrounds. He also contributed to the animated series 101 Dalmatians, Daria and Doug.
He began his career as a graffiti artist growing up in Jersey City, New Jersey. Later moving to New York City in the 1990s, KAWS started subverting imagery on billboards, bus shelters and phone booth advertisements. These reworked advertisements were at first left alone, lasting for up to several months, but as KAWS’ popularity skyrocketed, the ads became increasingly sought after. In addition to New York, KAWS has done work in Paris, London, Berlin and Tokyo. And like in the old Pop Art days, and exactly like Andy Warhol’s, KAWS too does work with American super stars. From Kanye, to Rihanna, Iggy or Kate Moss… you name it!
In the late 90s, KAWS began to design and produce limited edition vinyl toys, “an instant hit with the global art toy-collecting community,” especially in Japan, where this genre is well respected and widespread.
Recent solo exhibitions include OriginalFake at the Bape Gallery in Tokyo (2003) where his sculpture “Wonderful World” sold for $400,000. KAWS has been periodically showing both paintings and products at Colette in Paris since 1999.
KAWS’s “Companion,” a grayscale figure based on Mickey Mouse with his face obscured by both hands, was adapted into a balloon for the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as part of the parade’s “Blue Sky Gallery” feature.
He recently have been featured at PAFA, and Yatzer did an amazing article about it, that you can read here. Its amazing how great the tradicional art looks next to this contemporary Pop Art pieces.
For the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards KAWS’s company redesigned the iconic moonman statue.
And we must say that it was a big hit! Just look at how Miley loved it…