TitleKAWS @ PAFA
Duration12 October 2013 to 05 January 2014
VenuePennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA)
|Title||KAWS @ PAFA||Posted In||Exhibition||Duration||12 October 2013 to 05 January 2014|
|Venue||Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA)||Location||
118 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA PA 19102United States
American visual artist Brian Donnelly, also known as KAWS, is a master of combining street- and pop-art influences with conceptual and thought-provoking artistic gestures. He is currently in the spotlight once again at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA), where his latest solo exhibition titled KAWS @ PAFA is on display. The exhibition itself includes his iconic vinyl sculptures (with references to Bugs Bunny, Michelin’s Bibendum and everything in between), as well as a large collection of canvases that have been created especially referencing American cartoon characters. Visitors to the exhibition are giving a taste of what’s in store inside as they approach the building where a monumental statue titled ''BORN TO BEND'' looks down on the entrance from the plinth on the museum’s gothic façade.
Inside, the KAWS @ PAFA exhibition creates an almost surreal juxtaposition between PAFA’s collection of 19th-century American art and KAWS’s playful pop-art creations. Respectful and aware of the historical importance of the venue and the tradition it represents, KAWS looked at creating a dialogue between the traditional narrative techniques of the oil paintings in the museum’s historic galleries and his fragmented, mutated, colourfully aggressive cartoon imagery; and the result is direct and visceral in its impact.
KAWS has always been known for his work in the intersection between consumerism and art. This can be traced throughout his career: from his early ''advertisement interventions'' as a young street artist in the 1990’s in New York City, through to his collaborations with numerous commercial brands across the world (including Marc Jacobs, Vans, Nike and Comme des Garçons), not to mention his signature collectible vinyl art-toys – which enjoy an elevated, must-have status amongst his international followers. Since 2010 however, KAWS has been receiving more attention from the more established art world and has been invited to exhibit at art institutions and galleries, with solo exhibitions and commissions for larger-scale works worldwide, leading up to his current show at PAFA.