KAWS

American | Painting, Graphic Design, Sculpture, Graffiti, Toys

b. 1974

Brian Donnelly, known professionally as KAWS, is an American artist and designer. He studied illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Donnelly was known for marking buildings in New Jersey and Manhattan with ‘KAWS’, a tag he chose because he liked the way the letters looked together. KAWS made his name with his first toy ‘COMPANION’ after working with Bounty Hunter, the toy and streetwear brand. He also designed clothes and toys for a number of labels, including Bathing Ape and Supreme, Kanye West, Nike, Comme des Garcons, Kung Faux, Van, and the Campana brothers.

KAWS is also known for his work on acrylic paintings and large sculptures. In 2013, he redesigned MTV’s moon man statue for their 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. KAWS museum exhibitions include 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. KAWS currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.