Brian Donnelly (born 1974), known professionally as Kaws, is an American artist and designer. His work includes repeated use of a cast of figurative characters and motifs, some dating back to the beginning of his career in the 1990s, initially painted in 2D and later realised in 3D. Some of his characters are his own creations while others are reworked versions of existing icons.
Kaws started his career working as a freelance animator for Disney and expressing himself as a Graffiti, he first explored subvertising art, focusing on the alteration of existing images (as advertisements) in a satirical manner. His most famous image is the “Companion”, a grey scale figure of Mickey mouse with the X-ed out eyes and/or hands but Kaws explore a large scale of the pop culture from Darth Vader to Sponge Bob or Snoopy.
KAWS museum exhibitions include solo shows at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, High Museum of Art, Modern Art Museum, and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum or Yuz Museum of Shanghai.