Exhibitions: "GISWIL" at Art Basel, Switzerland, "Ohhh..." at KaiKai Kiki Gallery, "KAWS @ PAFA" at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, "UPS AND DOWNS" at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Mo.,"KAWS" at Mary Boone Gallery, and "PASS THE BLAME" at Galerie Perrotin
While a certain pop star may have twerked all over the stage at this year's MTV VMAs, she wasn't able to steal the glory from KAWS, the mastermind behind the award show's stage design. For the 2013 MTV VMAs, KAWS re-imagined the iconic astronaut as his own x-eyed character, Companion. He also designed all of the visual imagery, which included a massive, 60-foot inflatable of his fresh, new Moonman replacement. Days after KAWS took over the VMAs, the artist unveiled his new mural for the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Outside of award shows and murals, however, KAWS also held "GISWIL" during Art Basel in Switzerland, "Ohhh..." at KaiKai Kiki Gallery in Tokyo back in May, " "KAWS @ PAFA," an exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in early October, and "UPS AND DOWNS" at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Mo., which was also in October. On November 2, visitors crowded around KAWS' bold, vibrant-colored paintings and giant wooden Companion sculptures at Mary Boone Gallery and Galerie Perrotin.
While KAWS' ascent to a highly regarded visual artist in the fine art world has been swift, he's certainly done so with grace and an understanding of retaining his own style. As he gets bigger and bigger, we look forward to seeing how he navigates both the commercial and non-commercial sides of his iconic work.