KAWS: WHAT PARTY @ Brooklyn Museum, New York
Synonymous as he is with Brooklyn, there is indeed something special about a hometown show for KAWS. The Jersey City-born artist has long called the borough home, and as a mentor to a group of fantastic artists who have come from his studio, the KAWS name identifies as a hub for contemporary art in Brooklyn. The artist’s connection with the Brooklyn Museum itself is significant in that he has played host to the annual Artist Ball in 2017, released his now legendary Air Jordan 4 collaboration there, and authored an iconic sculpture work, ALONG THE WAY, in the museum entrance from 2015-16. And now: KAWS: WHAT PARTY, in what is being called a sweeping survey of the artist’s nearly 30-year career.
From graffiti drawings, notebooks and advertising interventions, to paintings and sculptures, smaller collectibles, furniture, and “monumental installations of his popular COMPANION figures,” as well as new works and his move into the digital space with his hit app with Acute Art, WHAT PARTY puts into context how KAWS has obliterated the typical blueprint-to-blue-chip success and completely rewritten the rule books to become one of the foremost artists and collectors of his time. The show will also include new augmented reality works that KAWS has explored throughout 2020, giving visitors a chance to join the party and interact with his sculptures in new, personal ways, giving us all the opportunity to celebrate art. —Evan Pricco