KAWS is a New York-based artist called Brian Donnelly who has made a name out of designing limited edition toys and clothing. He is also a world-renowned artist who exhibits in museums and galleries internationally. KAWS has successfully blurred the line between fine art and mass-produced merchandise. He uses his products to allow his imagery to infiltrate a larger audience than that of the fine art world. The artist is currently an active member in both the commercial and fine art communities.
Born in 1974 in Jersey City, New Jersey, he has worked for Disney as a freelance animator. While living in Jersey City, KAWS began his career as a graffiti artist. In 1990s he moved to New York City and began to work on subverting the images on bus shelters, phone booth advertisements, and billboards. Soon after his notoriety and popularity reached heights never before expected and these ads became increasingly sought after by the public.
In the early 2000s he also reworked many familiar television and cartoon icons such as characters from The Simpsons, Mickey Mouse, the Michelin Man, the Smurfs, and even SpongeBob Square Pants.
He has also been highly praised for his work on acrylic paintings and large sculptures. One of the more popular KAWS sculpture is that of a grey scale figure based on the Mickey Mouse whose face is obscured by his both hands.
KAWS currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.