Brian Donnelly, known as KAWS, rose to stardom by creating character figures called Companion, a cross between Mickey Mouse and the Michelin Man. He presents them in different forms, sizes and colours, from sculpture to paintings, or toys.
With more than three million Instagram followers under his belt, popular commercial collaborations with fashion brands and works that are doing wonders in auction rooms and among Gen-Z collectors, the artist has been hailed as the new Andy Warhol.
In his first major solo show in London, KAWS is adding a multilayered virtual twist to his work.
The exhibition, presented in collaboration with Acute Art – a company that produces and sells works in virtual and augmented reality – exists in three realities: physical at the Serpentine, digital on your mobile by using the Acute Art app on-site, and on the gaming platform Fortnite where a virtual recreation of the show can be watched by players from all over the world.
As an experience, it is fun and undemanding – apart from the hassle of downloading the app – and it will delight the many KAWS fans who will undoubtedly flock to the Serpentine in the days to come (weekend slots for the exhibition are already sold out).
But many other art lovers will be left wondering what the fuss is all about. The colourful paintings may look attractive online but feel particularly soulless in the physical world. As for the different gimmicky declinations of the Companion character, they singularly lack emotional connection.
KAWS' new show is perfect for your Instagram feed. But once your stories elapse, it is quickly gone and forgotten.
|What||KAWS New Fiction opens at the Serpentine Gallery|
|Where||Serpentine Sackler Gallery, West Carriage Drive , Kensington Gardens, London , W2 2AR | MAP|
|Nearest tube||South Kensington (underground)|
18 Jan 22 – 27 Feb 22, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Website||CLICK HERE TO BOOK|