Graffiti artist, illustrator, toymaker, sculptor and painter Brian Donnelly — better known as KAWS — celebrated his largest public artwork to date last night at the Standard Hotel. Companion (Passing Through), a sixteen-foot-tall sculpture of a cartoonish figure covering its head in shame, will occupy the front plaza of the Standard through October 2011. (The head of the sculpture is KAWS’s trademark skull and crossbones; the body is Mickey Mouse’s, turned gray.) From the Standard, the tortured Mickey will make his way to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia.
According to KAWS, the inspiration for the piece came from its original location, in Hong Kong’s massive mall Harbour City. “I was invited to do the piece, I went and saw the site. And immediately I was like, ‘God if I had to sit out here, I would just be mortified if this many people walked past me,’” KAWS told T Magazine. “And that’s how that pose came.”
KAWS previously collaborated with the Standard on a series of now sold-out, limited-edition light bulbs with filaments incorporating his signature Xs.