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Brian Donnelly – professionally known as KAWS – is a New York-based artist who has made a name out of him designing limited edition toys and clothing. He is also a world-renowned artist praised for his work on acrylic paintings and large sculptures. His cartoonish style—including his best-known characters with X-ed out eyes—has its roots in his early career as a street artist, when he began replacing advertisements with his own, masterful acrylic paintings in the early 1990s.
Brian Donnelly was born in 1974 in Jersey City, New Jersey, where he began his career as a graffiti artist. After moving to New York City in the 1990s, he started subvertising billboards, bus shelters, and phone booths. In the early 2000s, he reworked many familiar television and cartoon icons such as characters from The Simpsons, Mickey Mouse, the Michelin Man, the Smurfs, and even SpongeBob SquarePants. KAWS has worked with a myriad of brands and celebrities including Burton, Vans, Supreme, DC Shoes, Nike, Dos Equis, Hennessy, M&M's, the 2013 MTV VMA's to design the Moonman and even with Kanye West for his 808's & Heartbreak album cover.
KAWS museum exhibitions include solo shows at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, High Museum of Art, Modern Art Museum, and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. Other international galleries include Galerie Perrotin and Honor Fraser Gallery. His work has been seen in Paris, London, Berlin, and Tokyo.
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