Crashing the MoMA Website
A few weeks ago, the Museum of Modern Art sent out an email announcing that it had a limited supply of KAWS Companion action figures for sale, at $200 each, at MoMA and online. The response was so dramatic that the MoMA Design Store website crashed and was down for hours. The toys sold out before the end of the day.
KAWS figures are instantly recognizable… the XX eyes, the familiar yet transformed cartoon characters that are relatable to so many… and the feelings of compassion and humanity that they evoke have made them a universal success.
One of the original Companions sold for $129,000 at auction in 2014. Even the smaller pieces, which recovered by collectors, sell for around $100 to $2500.
Far Far Down in St.Louis
Brian Donnelly, who has a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, seems to have a basic instinct for knowing how to get people to relate to his art. He says that he chose the tag KAWS because he liked the way the letters fit together, and they fit very well. The tag made him one of the most outstanding New York graffiti artists in the late 1990s and led to his critical and commercial success.
KAWS is a painter, sculptor, toy maker and product designer. His work is exhibited in venues throughout the world.
Both his paintings and sculpture are on exhibit this summer at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis. The exhibit includes a new bronze sculpture, titled Together, installed in the museum’s courtyard.
Hard to Get
Once a KAWS product design is announced, KAWS fans rush in to swoop them up. His collaboration with Nike resulted in the KAWS x Jordan 4 sneaker, which was released globally on March 31 for $350 and by lottery on the KAWSone website, a month later. Of course, they sold out quickly, and fakes are popping up around the world, selling for as high as $2000. There are ways to tell the fakes from the real KAWS x Jordan 4s, but buyer beware.
KAWS at VFA
Our focus at VFA, is on the paintings and fine art prints that KAWS creates. His use of pure colors and recognizable aesthetic creates a visual energy that is unique to his work.