photo by Guillaume Ziccarelli


The Brooklyn-based artist KAWS (Brian Donnelly) was born in New Jersey, in 1974.

His paintings, drawings, and sculpture have been widely exhibited at museums and art galleries. He is internationally known also as a graphic artist and a creator of highly sought-after, editioned toys, apparel, and other products.

KAWS grew up in Jersey City, where he emerged as a graffiti artist in the early 1990s. He later studied at the School of Visual Arts (1993-1996), where he shifted his focus to creating public “interventions” by subverting imagery on billboards and advertisements in bus shelters and phone booths.

This led to collaborations with commercial photographers and designers, resulting in original artworks that have been extensively published. KAWS comfortably straddles the commercial and fine art worlds with his work, which ranges from graphic, product, and industrial design to painting, drawings, sculpture, wall murals, and silkscreen prints.

Working in the historical continuum of Pop Art, his recent paintings present abstracted cartoon imagery, making reference to both popular culture and the history of modern painting. Alternating between figuration and abstraction, KAWS’s work reflects the chaotic nature of contemporary culture.

Solo Exhibitions
2018 Galerie Perrotin, Tokyo, Japan
Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong
2017 WHERE THE END STARTS, Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, USA
2016 WHERE THE END STARTS, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX
BFF, Central Embassy, Bangkok, Thailand
Galerie Perrotin, Seoul, South Korea
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Yorkshire, UK
2015 Permanent Vacation II, Eden Rock Gallery, St. Barts
ALONG THE WAY, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
A Shared Space: KAWS, Karl Wirsum, Tomoo Gokita, Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
CLEAN SLATE, LA NAVE, Las Salinas, Ibiza, Spain
CLEAN SLATE, Shanghai Times Square, Shanghai, China
2014 "FINAL DAYS", CAC Malaga, Spain
MAN'S BEST FRIEND, Honor Fraser, Los Angeles, USA
CLEAN SLATE, Harbour City, Hong Kong, China
PLAY YOUR PART, Galeria Javier Lopez, Madrid, Spain
2013 "PASS THE BLAME", Galerie Perrotin New York, USA
Mary Boone Gallery in cooperation with Galerie Perrotin, New York, USA
"Ups and Downs", The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, USA
"KAWS GISWIL", More Gallery, Giswil, Switzerland
"Ohhh...", Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
"BORN TO BEND", Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, USA
2012 "COMPANION (PASSING THROUGH)", Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX
"IMAGINARY FRIENDS", Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France
“The Nature of Need”, Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong
“KAWS: Down Time”, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, USA
2011 “Companion (Passing Through)”, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, USA
“FOCUS: KAWS”, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, USA
“Hold The Line”,Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
“Passing Through”, The Standard, New York, USA
“Passing Through”, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, USA
2010 “Passing Through”, Harbour City Museum of Art, Hong Kong
“KAWS”, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, USA
“Pay the Debt to Nature”, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France
Galeria Javier Lopez, Madrid, Spain
2009 “The Long Way Home”, Honor Fraser, Los Angeles, USA
2008 Gering & López Gallery, New York, USA
“Saturated”, Galerie Perrotin, Miami, USA
2003 “Original Fake”, BAPE Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2002 Elms Lesters Painting Room, London, UK
“C9”, MU Art Foundation, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
2001 “Tokyo First”, Parco Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1999: Colette, Paris, France
Group Exhibitions
2016 Holdings: Selections from MCASD's Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, USA
Greek Gotham, Dio Horia Gallery, Mykonos, Greece
A Material Legacy: The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection of Contemporary Art, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, USA
2015 Respect, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Málaga, Spain
ArtZuid 2015, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2014 If You're Accidentally Not Included, Don't Worry About It., curated by Peter Saul, Zurcher Studio, New York, NY
Joyride, Marlborough Chelsea, New York, NY
Ok, I'll rename it, Bill Brady KC, Kansas City, MO
Knock! Knock!, Galeria Javier Lopez, Madrid, Spain
Full House, Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, NY
PAINT NEW YORK, GL Strand, Copenhagen, Denmark
2013 Happy Birthday Galerie Perrotin / 25ans", TRIPOSTAL, Lille, France
2012 “White Columns Benefit Exhibition and Auction”, White Columns, New York, USA
East West Shift to the Middle Part #1, Bill Brady KC, Kansas City, MO
Group Show - Wangechi Mutu - KAWS - Jeff Sonhouse - Wim Delvoye, Gallery Zidoun, Luxembourg
It Ain't Fair 2012, OHWOW, Miami, FL
2011 “PRETTY ON THE INSIDE”, organized by Erik Parker and KAWS, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, USA
“Art in the Streets”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA
“Party Animals” & “FACEMAKER,” Royal/T, Los Angeles, USA
2010 “Mutant Pop”, curated by Joe Grillo, Laura Grant, and Brandon Joyce, Galleri Loyal, Malmo, Sweden
“It Ain’t Fair”, OHWOW, Miami, USA
“The Reflected Gaze - Self Portraiture Today”, The Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, USA
2009 “Just what is it that make today’s painting so different, so appealing”, Gering & López Gallery, New York, USA
“Stages”, organized by Lance Armstrong and Nike, Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France
“Alpha Exotica”, curated by Dimitrios Antonitsis, Hydra School Projects, Athens, Greece
The New Yorkers, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
“Plastic Culture”, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, UK
“I Can’t Feel My Face”, Curated by KAWS, Royal/T, Los Angeles, USA
2008 “Everything Else”, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York, USA
2007 POPcentric, Gering & López Gallery, New York, USA
2006 “Info Babble”, Richard & Dolly Maass Gallery, Purchase, New York, USA
“Ugly Winners”, Galerie Du Juor Agnes B., Paris, France
2004 “Beautiful Losers”, curated by Aaron Rose and Christian Strike, Le Tri Postal, Lille, France, Palazzo Dell’Arte, Milan, Italy, USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, USA, Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, USA, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, USA, Yerba Buena Arts Center, San Francisco, USA, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, USA
2003 “SK8 on the Wall”, Parco Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2002 “Session the Bowl”, Deitch Projects, New York, USA
“ALIFE Shop”, Deitch Projects, New York, USA
“Coded Language”, City Gallery Chastain, Atlanta, USA
2001 “Shortcuts”, Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre, Athens, Greece
Pierides Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece
“New Acquisitions from the Dakis Joannou Collection”, Deste Foundation, Athens, Greece; Lakai Group Cultural Centretztt