Highlights From the Brooklyn Museum’s KAWS Extravaganza, From Early Graffiti to Sneakers and Sofas

KAWS, WHAT PARTY (2020). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, aka Brian Donnelly, is one of the hottest artists in the world. Which means that the Brooklyn Museum has the hottest ticket in town with the opening of “KAWS: What Party,” a career-spanning retrospective.

The work on view spans a range of genres: early graffiti and street art; paintings appropriating cartoon icons like the Simpsons and the Smurfs (including The Kaws Album, a small canvas that sold for an eye-opening $14.7 million back in 2019); many, many riffs on his signature skull-headed companion figure, sometimes blown up to monumental proportions; various streetwear and toy collaborations, all displayed reverentially; and videos showing some of the artist’s more ambitious recent public interventions.

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