KAWS unveils new 18-foot sculpture at Rockefeller Center

August 12, 2021

Courtesy of Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Tishman Speyer

The distinct art of KAWS is now on display at Rockefeller Center. The 18-foot tall bronze sculpture, dubbed SHARE, features two of the artist’s signature cartoon-like figures, Companion and BFF. The installation, which coincides with the current sweeping exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum, “KAWS: WHAT PARTY,” will be on view at the Center Plaza until October 29.

SHARE aims to represent the current moment and the search for comfort from family and friends. “Companion’s familiarity soothes just as we all feel the tug of BFF who is clutched somewhat wantonly,” as a press release describes.

“KAWS has created a universal language for anyone who interacts with his instantly recognizable figures,” EB Kelly, managing director at Tishman Speyer overseeing Rockefeller Center, said.

“KAWS’s work subverts expectations while feeling both familiar and stylized, and having SHARE close our summer season of art at Rockefeller Center perfectly encapsulates our own commitment to contrast New York’s different cultures, styles and energy.”

KAWS, whose real name is Brian Donnelly, was born in Jersey City and started his career during the 1990s as an illustrator and street artist. He’s known for combining pop culture with contemporary art, seen especially in his Mickey Mouse-inspired figure Companion.

The artist’s exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum chronicles his 25-year career and includes more than 100 works, such as graffiti drawings, paintings, sculptures, collectibles, furniture, and monumental installations of his popular Companion figures. “KAWS: WHAT PARTY” is on view at the museum through September 5.

“Since KAWS: WHAT PARTY opened at the Brooklyn Museum this February we’ve been overwhelmed by the incredible response from our visitors,” Anne Pasternak, the Shelby White and Leon Levy Director for Brooklyn Museum, said. “His vibrant artistic vision and explosive creativity speak powerfully to the emotions of our time, and has resonated with countless museum goers. I can’t wait for his new monumental work in Rockefeller Center to bring joy and inspiration to an even wider audience.”


Courtesy of Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Tishman Speyer

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