Brian Donnelly, aka the artist KAWS, is one of the most in-demand talents. Though he started as a graffiti artist and even did a stint at Disney as a background animation painter, it’s his large-scale toy figures that cemented his legendary status. The 45-year-old created a giant floating sculpture in a lake in Seoul, designed a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon, and has produced pieces that have sold for over $1 million.
With so much buzz around the artist, fans are eager to know when a new piece will be revealed. Well, the answer is now. Architectural Digest learned exclusively that the latest sculpture from KAWS, titled WAITING, will debut today at The Greenpoint, new luxury apartments in Brooklyn. The piece will feature one large and one small KAWS sculpture, totaling more than 20 feet in height, and stand just outside the property, near the India Street ferry stop.
The work depicts KAWS’s famous COMPANION character and shows a large protective figure offering a compassionate or familial gesture to a smaller figure in a moment of reflection and stillness. In WAITING, these larger-than-life characters look out to the water, greet ferry commuters at the pier, and welcome residents, neighbors, and international visitors to this burgeoning destination.
Because KAWS is based in North Brooklyn, he was a compelling choice for this waterfront location, according to Mack Real Estate Group, the developers of the project. KAWS found inspiration from this proximity, as well.
“When I was invited to do this commission, I was living a few blocks from the site,” he tells AD. “My wife was often taking the ferry, and I was imagining going to wait for her to arrive. That’s where the title WAITING came from. I was inspired thinking about the many people from all walks of life getting on and off the ferry passing the sculpture.”
He adds, “I hope when people pass the sculpture, it takes them out of their routine commute and leads them to new thoughts and puts them in touch with their surroundings in a new way.”
The developers hope the unique sculpture helps to bring the community together. “Public art can become a unique focal point for a community, drawing people together through moments of shared enjoyment and thought-provoking discussion,” Richard Mack, CEO & co-founder of Mack Real Estate Group, tells AD. “WAITING has great potential to provide that for the Greenpoint and for Greenpoint more broadly, and we continue to seek opportunities for thoughtful art installations in our properties.”
Asked how this piece is different than previous works, KAWS says it’s the location. “It’s the first public work that I could visit on a lunch break,” he tells us. “I love knowing it’s only a few blocks from my studio.”