Brian Donnelly, better known as KAWS is a New York-based artist that got his start designing limited edition toys and clothing. He went on to become a global sensation for his work, having it exhibited internationally at galleries and museums. His style runs from fine art to lively pieces popping in color and technique.
Before he got the name KAWS, Brian Donnelly worked at Disney as a freelance animator. He contributed to several movies including 101 Dalmatians and Darla. His life in Jersey City soon led him to discover graffiti. As he moved to New York City he began reimagining bus shelters, billboards, phone booths, you name it. His name skyrocketed in popularity as people began to recognize his work. By the late 90s, KAWS was asked to design a limited edition line of Vinyl toys, which resulted in mass sales and popularity among toy collectors. In Japan especially KAWS gained notoriety for his contributions to the unique items.
Image Via The Independent
Recently KAWS has been designing clothing and toys for companies like Nike, Vans, A Bathing Ape, Supreme, Comme Des Garcons and many more. In 2013 he was responsible for redesigning the iconic MTV Moonman trophy, which incorporated his original “companion” character designs in its concept.
KAWA has also contributed to evolving popular television characters and cartoon icons, such as The Simpsons, Spongebob, and the Smurfs. His work on acrylic painting and sculptures has attracted praise from many, specifically, his grayscale depiction of Mickey Mouse with his head hung in his hands. His solo shows have been included in the High Museum of Art, Modern Art Museum, and internationally in London, Paris, and Tokyo. Kaws currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.