Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Recently artist KAWS, who will be holding a solo exhibition at Kaikai Kiki Gallery in Tokyo this coming April, saw his work make an appearance as a float in New York City’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

photo: promostyl JAPAN

The motif chosen for the balloon “Companion,” a well known KAWS character who has also been exhibited in public in Hong Kong and New York.

The companion float.
Lying face down with his hands covering his eyes, he formed a striking contrast with the other floats. According to KAWS, this sense of discord was intentional.

photo: promostyl JAPAN

Here’s a shot of the float in the parade itself. Ironically enough, Companion was placed nearby the very character that served as his model: Mickey Mouse. The juxtaposition was a truly impressive realization of KAWS’s goals.

The artist himself could be seen taking photos as the float was unveiled.

As if being in the parade weren’t enough, KAWS’s artwork was also featured on the interior and exterior of the S train in Manhattan.

Below are comments on the event that the artist made in an interview with artinfo:

“When I thought about the history of the parade, I thought of very proud balloons, like these dynamic characters. I wanted to do something different from that….”
“I didn’t take into account the life it takes on when the balloon is moving and when it stops…with the hands in constant motion”

You can view the moment when KAWS’s float appeared on the Thanksgiving Day live broadcast here: