Brian Donnelly is an American fashionable artist, designer, and illustrator. He is best known for his graffiti art, which he created in the early 1990s. He is professionally known as KAWS. The word KAWS has no meaning, and it is just a named tag created by Brian Donnelly when he was a teenager. He painted this name on the building so that he could see it from the outside while attending class in high school.
Kaws was born on 4 November 1974 in New Jersey. He attended St. Anthony High School. He graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He had a degree in Fine Arts in illustration in 1996. After graduation, he worked as a freelance animator for Jumbo Pictures, painting backgrounds for the animated series 101 Dalmatians, Daria, and Doug for a short period.
In the 1990s, Kaws moved to New York City and learned crafting through illegal graffiti. He worked as an animator in the day and a graffiti artist at night. He started subvertising various billboards, bus shelters, and phone booths through a key gifted to him by one of his friends and fellow graffiti artists, Barry Mcgee. Later, he designed a legend for himself and began to subvertise bus shelters in Paris, London, Berlin, and Tokyo.
In 1999, he made his first toy, Companion, a vinyl figure of Mickey Mouse, through the Japanese company Bounty Hunter. His inspirations derived from traditional painters, such as Gerhard Richter, Claes Oldenburg, and Chuck Close, and he has been compared to the likings of Andy Warhol for his charm across the market. His skill in blurring lines between commercial and fine art is exceptional.
Kaws has been creating artwork since the 1990s, and cartoon-like figures and animals often characterize his art. His works have been exhibited and shown in numerous galleries and museums worldwide, and his art has been featured in publications such as “The New York Times” and “The New Yorker.”
Kaws’ acrylic paintings and sculptures are meant to be universally understood, which surpasses different languages and cultures. Kaws’ Companion is a grayscale clown-like personality similar to Mickey Mouse, with his face hidden by both hands and two bones sticking out of his head. It was adapted into a balloon for the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as part of its “Blue Sky Gallery” of balloons. He has also produced additional sculptures of his Companion character for exhibitions in Switzerland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Málaga, London, and China.
Kaws has collaborated with many brands, including Nike, Uniqlo, and Kiehl’s. He has also created limited-edition toys and sculptures, often designed with a humorous edge. His style can be categorized by prominence on color and line distinguish graphics, such as the repeated use of “x” on the hands, nose, eyes, and ears. The presentation of his icons, such as Mickey Mouse, the Michelin Man, and his other characters, are generally presented in a shy and innocent pose, having their hands over their nose. In his paintings, Kaws constantly deconstructs his appropriation of iconic characters into shapes that produce different and unique images.
Kaws set a new auction record for the artist at the time. The Kaws Album (2005), a painting by Kaws, was sold for 115.9 million Hong Kong dollars or about $14.7 million U.S. dollars on 1 April 2019 at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong.
Brian Donnelly (kaws) Net Worth
Though Kaws’s actual net worth is unidentified, according to the reports, he has an approximate net worth of $13.74 million. On the other hand, some people have also approximated that Kaws net worth is more than $21.99.
Kaws is a talented artist with exceptional skills, which help him earn through his artwork, and along with that, he is an active social media influencer, too. His Instagram account has 3.01 million followers, and each of the kaws’s pictures receives an average of 39.46 thousand likes. He would earn approximately $5.5 million a year through his performance.