"My first interest in graffitti came when I was in grammar school, around '87 or '88 I was about twelve years old. I did not know much about writing, I just knew that I liked to write my name everywhere I could in my neighborhood."
Brian Donnelly (born November 4, 1974), known professionally as Kaws (stylized as KAWS), is an American artist and designer. His work includes repeated use of a cast of figurative characters and motifs, some dating back to the beginning of his career in the 1990sinitially painted in 2D and later realized in 3D. Some of his characters are his own creations while others are reworked versions of existing icons.
Kaws' sculptures range in size from a few inches to ten meters tall, and are made from various materials including fiberglass, aluminum, wood, bronze, and a steel pontoon inflatable raft.
Kaws' influences come from traditional high art painters like Gerhard Richter, Claes Oldenburg, and Chuck Close, and he has been compared to the likes of Andy Warhol for his cross-market appeal and ability to blur lines between commercial and fine art. His work is exhibited in galleries and museums, held in the permanent collections of public institutions, and avidly collected by individuals including music producer Swizz Beatz, internet figure PewDiePie, rappers Pharrell Williams, Kid Cudi, and members of South Korean group BTS. A number of books illustrating his work have been published.
Kaws lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, creating sculptures, acrylic paintings on canvas, and screen prints while also collaborating commercially, predominantly on limited edition toys, but also clothing, skateboard decks, and other products. KAWS is represented by Skarstedt Gallery, New York.