KAWS image

KAWS

HOLIDAY SPACE (2020) | Augmented Reality

In the summer of 2020, Acute Art had the pleasure of presenting HOLIDAY SPACE, a free new AR work by KAWS.

On Monday 17th August, in collaboration with All Rights Reserved, the artist launched this iconic COMPANION figure into space, in celebration of the character’s 20th anniversary. Using a sounding balloon, the KAWS:HOLIDAY SPACE sculpture was sent up 41.5km into the stratosphere, and took a two hour zero gravity walk before retuning to Earth.

“So many projects have been cancelled this year. I wanted to create one that could be experienced safely from home. Because this year marks 20 years since I created COMPANION, I tried to find a way around all the restrictions and do something special,” says Kaws. “I felt so confined the past few months that creating a project like this has really given me a chance to escape.”

EXPANDED HOLIDAY (2020) | Augmented Reality

In collaboration with Acute Art, KAWS produced EXPANDED HOLIDAY, which demonstrates the enormous potential of augmented reality (AR) and conveys a sense of mischievous humor through the juxtaposition of physical and virtual worlds. The app features a small version of COMPANION (EXPANDED) and AT THIS TIME (EXPANDED) from his project EXPANDED HOLIDAY, and a series of AR drawings.

KAWS comments, “When I realized the quality that could be achieved and experienced in AR, I was immediately drawn to its potential. I have been creating objects and exhibiting works in public spaces throughout my career, and this allows me to expand on that in a whole new arena. The possibilities of locations and scale are endless, and I’m excited to start a new dialogue in this medium.”

About KAWS

KAWS has emerged as a truly international artist through his appeal to diverse audiences across the globe. His signature imagery is easily recognizable, and through his strategies of appropriation, he has developed an oeuvre that transcends genres and defies all hierarchies. Over the last two decades, KAWS has won acclaim with work that demonstrates a unique agility and craft, as well as an underlying humor and irreverence. His prolific body of work straddles the worlds of art and design and includes paintings, murals, sculptures of all sizes, graphic and product design, advertising intervention, and now augmented reality. Throughout his career, KAWS has created work that engages audiences beyond the traditional art world. From his early days of interventions in the public realm to large-scale sculptures in Hong Kong harbor and Mount Fuji, his art connects with experienced art lovers as well as with people who have never set foot in the museums and galleries that exhibit the work. What he has to offer is nothing less than an exploration of humanity itself, perhaps best exemplified by his cast of hybrid cartoon characters. KAWS’ art is both playful and deeply emotional at the same time.

KAWS (b. 1974) lives and works in New York.

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