Evoking the sensibilities of Pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg, KAWS embraces frequent brand collaborations and addresses the intersection of art and commerce with a playful sense of humor. His work has fetched eight figures on the secondary market.
KAWS, born Brian Donnelly, straddles the worlds of art and design with a prolific body of work that ranges from paintings, murals, and large-scale sculptures to merchandise, furniture and toys. Much of it centers on Companion, a depressed Mickey Mouse–like character with X’s for eyes. KAWS got his start as a street artist in the late ’90s. His practice has earned him major shows at the Brooklyn Museum, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, and the Yuz Museum in Shanghai, among other institutions.