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Brian Donnelly (born 1974), known by his moniker KAWS, emerged from the world of street art to become one of the most influential contemporary artists. Growing up in Jersey City, New Jersey, KAWS initially gained recognition for his graffiti work, particularly his distinctive reinterpretation of iconic cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse and SpongeBob SquarePants. His signature "Companion" character, a skull-faced figure with gloved hands, has become a global phenomenon. KAWS seamlessly blends elements of pop culture with fine art, utilizing vibrant colors and bold lines to create a playful yet thought-provoking aesthetic. His transition from the streets to the galleries has not only redefined the boundaries of contemporary art but has also made him a highly sought-after and collectible artist.


KAWS' work has been exhibited in major museums and institutions worldwide, marking his significant impact on the global art scene. The Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta have all hosted solo exhibitions dedicated to KAWS. Internationally, his work has been showcased at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, and the Yuz Museum in Shanghai, China. Furthermore, KAWS' sculptures and paintings are part of the collections at institutions like the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, underscoring his influence and enduring relevance in contemporary art.

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