A Contemporary Artist Blending Pop Culture and Street Art

Brian Donnelly, who goes by the name KAWS, is a contemporary artist who has gained widespread recognition for his unique style of combining pop culture and street art. He was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1974 and began his career as a graffiti artist in the 1990s.

Early Career and Rise to Fame

KAWS gained notoriety for his street art, which often featured a skull with crossbones and Xs for eyes. He also began producing limited-edition toys and figurines based on his iconic characters, such as Companion and Chum.

In the early 2000s, KAWS started to gain attention from the art world and collaborated with a number of high-profile brands, including Nike and MTV. He also began exhibiting his work in galleries and museums around the world. These include the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo.

Style and Technique

KAWS characterizes his work by taking a playful and often subversive approach to pop culture. He frequently takes well-known characters from cartoons, comics, and advertising and transforms them into his own creations. He often does this by adding his trademark Xs for eyes.

His style is also marked by a bold use of color and an emphasis on texture and line. KAWS often uses a range of media in his work, including painting, sculpture, and printmaking.

Collaborations and Commissions

KAWS has collaborated with numerous brands and celebrities over the years. He has designed sneakers for Nike and worked on advertising campaigns for companies like MTV and Vans.

In recent years, KAWS has also created large-scale public sculptures, including a 40-foot-tall Companion sculpture that was installed in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour in 2019.

Legacy and Impact

KAWS has had a significant impact on contemporary art and culture. His work has inspired a generation of artists and designers. It has become highly sought after by collectors around the world.

In 2019, a KAWS painting sold for a record-breaking $14.8 million at auction, highlighting the increasing value and popularity of his work.


KAWS is a contemporary artist who has made a significant impact on the art world and popular culture. His unique style and approach to blending pop culture and street art have made him a highly sought-after artist and a major influence on a new generation of artists and designers.

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