American artist KAWS is one of the most famous living contemporary artists today. Renowned for his iconic visual language and larger-than-life sculptures, the artist draws on beloved pop culture icons to create a new and recognizable cast of characters of his own. The broad appeal of KAWS’ style has made his artwork accessible to collectors, museum visitors and the general public alike, and has led to collaborations with coveted global brands and immense commercial success.
KAWS: FAMILY, organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, marks the artist’s Canadian institutional exhibition debut with an array of his drawings, paintings, sculptures and selected products. The catalog features more than 60 works from the past two decades, including special installation photography; an essay by Julian Cox, AGO Deputy Director and Chief Curator; and an interview with KAWS by Jim Shedden, AGO Curator of Special Projects and Director of Publishing. Together, this material provides new insights into KAWS’ influences and creative process as well as the impact his work has made across the spheres of fine art, pop culture, product design and fashion.
A graffiti artist since adolescence, Brian Donnelly (born 1974), known professionally by his moniker KAWS, received his BFA in illustration from New York’s School of Visual Arts in 1996. He has collaborated with brands such as Supreme, Nike and Comme des Garcons, and his work can be found in the collections of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. KAWS works in Brooklyn, New York.