Graffiti Pop Culture
KAWS is an American graffiti artist and designer known for his toys and collaborations. KAWS’ acrylic paintings and sculptures have many repeating images, all meant to be universally understood, surpassing languages and cultures. KAWS mostly subverts famous American cartoons, he explains that he found it weird how infused a cartoon could become in people’s lives and the impact it could have, compared to regular politics.
Born Brian Donnelly (1974), KAWS worked in animation after graduating with a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Having started as a graffiti artist in New York in the early 1990s, KAWS began reworking advertisements in his distinctive style by unlocking the glass panels at the bus stops and phone booths. Gaining both street accreditation and more recently gallery exhibitions, his work can be found in collections at several Museums. By working together with several brands like Dior, Nike, Campana, etc. he continues to blur the boundaries between fine and commercial art.