Considering Andy Warhol’s and Keith Haring’s artistry, the New York -based artist Brian Donnelly, or internationally known as Kaws, is a prolific contemporary artist who has pushed the art of appropriation significant steps forward embracing pop culture with a wide range of influential artistic projects from toys, to clothings, graffiti, paintings, sneakers and videos. The main art reference in all these creations is a Mickey Mouse- like figure called Companion. Kaws’ logo “XX” has been a recognisable signature of his art; as he admits, without having any particular meaning, these two letters simply function nicely with each other. Having being involved with the art of branding art objects and sculptures with his trademark “XX”, Kaws also impacts the market’s current commodity status of what an art object can be considered today. In addition, his paintings as well as large scale sculptures such as the artwork in fibreglass and wood “Companion, Passing Through” has been exhibited internationally from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK to Brooklyn Museum, US and Yuz Museum in Shanghai.
#1 Kaws x Air Jordan 4 – 2017
Having collaborated with other footwear powerhouse such as Nike or BAPE, Kaw’s iconic “XX” signature will appear on the new series of Air Jordan 4 shoes. It’s remarkable that the artist’s name replaces the brand’s logo; the new shoe logo now includes both names and comes with the “XX Air”. It’s truly unique.
#2 Kaws x Kanye West 808S & Heartbreak – 2007
Kanye West always tries to demonstrate his special interest in contemporary art; one of the most important instances is when Kaws created the rapper’s CD cover Heartbreak illustrating the Mickey’s gloves along with his X logo.
#3 Kaws x Pharrell Williams x COMME des Garcons – 2014
“Love for fairer sex” was the reason for these three key figure names from different industries to join their forces to create a unisex fragrance called “Girl”. Kaws designed the cartoonish bottle and logo making you curious how the mix of iris,violet, patchouli, styrax and cedar smells like.
#4 Kaws x Nancy Gonzales -2016
It’s getting more common for contemporary artists to creatively collaborate with fashion brands for limited collections. Kaw’s artistic imprint was featured the Nancy Gonzales’ luxury leather accessories. Once again his recognizable motif decorated the luxury’s brand leather line.
#5 Kaws x Yuz Museum in Shanghai – 2017
‘Where the End Starts’ is the artist’s first large scale retrospective which takes places in Asia with over 100 works. Oil paintings, sculptures, sketches, even early graffiti will be presented by the Yuz Museum Shanghai until August 2017.
#6 Kaws x Black BFF Plush -2016
For his major exhibition “Where the end starts” which debuted at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in Texas and now continues in Asia, the New York based artist created a black-colored BFF plush; a limited amount of BFF is made in a black body and a pink nose.
#7 Kaws x M&M’s 75th anniversary -2017
The 75th anniversary of M&M was creatively celebrated by a virtual reality experience. The little chocolates appeared to have the artist’s logo on while some of his iconic sculptures came to life through this funny video.
#8 Kaws x VMAs award -2013
In 2013, Kaws was invited to experiment with the aesthetics of the VMA’S award style. The Moonman’s head was replaced by the artist’s characteristic Mickey Mouse head. Definitely, the artist’s style change managed to steal the show! An originally collectible piece of art! Only for few lucky winners.
#9 Kaws x BFF Sculpture at Central Embassy Bangkok -2016
Being well known for producing attractive figurine statues or art toys, Kaws presented his new series of cartoon-style sculpture in Bangkok. BFF means ‘best friends forever’, consists the idea behind this large scale BBF sculptures and underline the long- lasting friendships in life.
#10 Kaws x Hennessy Cognac Limited Edition -2011
Hennessy, the cognac producer and Kaws teamed up for a very limited edition bottle of V.S. Cognac. It’s not very common for a traditionally based brand such Hennessy to collaborate with a contemporary artist aesthetics. “Friends, work, music, art. It’s important to find the right blend…” was Kaws’ message regarding this creative collaboration.