COSIGN ART – KAWS: “Where The End Starts” Exhibit at The Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth
Photos & Words By: Steven Robbins
With camera in tow and wearing my freshest fit, I made my way down to Forth Worth with my friend to see the new KAWS exhibit at the Modern. Let me pause and explain my artistic backstory… Throughout high school and early years of college I have struggled to decide what kind of art I wanted to do. It’s a risky business and people gaff it off as a poor career choice. I also didn’t really have any artistic idols I really looked up to. Sure I can say I like Picasso, Lichtenstein, and of course Andy Warhol, but those are artists that have been drilled into our heads since we were born and first learned about art. I wanted to find someone I didn’t hear about in school and that had a style of their own. Then the day came where I was looking for inspiration for a new drawing that I had to do for school, when I stumbled upon a figure that had a skull for a head and the body of Mickey Mouse. But something was different. This skull had two X’s drawn on and the entire head was cartoonish. I clicked on the image link not knowing who or what this thing was. This was the day I stumbled upon Brian Donnelly or as we refer to him, KAWS. I clicked here and there looking up all the pieces I could find about this figure. Later I found out the name of the figure, simply named, “Companion.” These were the more popular pieces done by Brian.
Fast forward to me being back at the exhibit. I stopped traffic in front of the museum to capture a nice picture of the huge sculpture, “CLEAN SLATE” in the front of the Modern. Then I decided I was causing enough trouble to head inside. That’s where the real fun begins. You are greeted by many pieces of painted pieces that Brian has done over the years. His main inspirations are Sponge Bob, Mickey Mouse, Snoopy, and of course, the Simpsons. Brian has amassed a huge collaboration side of his art and has been able to create a whole new genre of art in itself. With his sharp lines and ridiculously vivid colors, it makes you wonder if it’s really painted or not. If you look at his pieces from afar, they look like they were made in Adobe Illustrator. But if get close enough, you can see the light texture of his colorful paint strokes. Always covered by some variation of thin and thick black lines to cover the ones underneath. My favorite pieces are the ones done on wood and use cartoon characters as silhouettes with other characters painted on top in a chaotic fashion. Who says paints have to stay on a four corner canvas?
As you walk through, you start getting a sense of who’s there and why. I myself have grown up around the art community and then realized I enjoyed fashion and music. Specifically the streetwear culture. I have my own clothing brand and strive to be the next Off-White. But I’m also a graphic designer at heart and love the aesthetics of design and how it can help make the world a visually better place. The people there in the exhibit are mostly streetwear aficionados and love everything within the culture, but maybe haven’t really been introduced to a proper artist that can express the same ideas, through art. There are also people who are strictly all about art, and don’t know a thing about the latest Yeezys, but can appreciate what KAWS has created on a canvas and sculpture. So in a sense, Brian Donnelly has created a huge bridge for two groups. His art can be interpreted in many ways and because of his vast fan base and also growing admirers, he is able to make people find common ground in an artistic way and come together to celebrate the wonders of art.
If you don’t understand art or can’t find a way to appreciate it, then KAWS is definitely the stepping stone into a whole new world. For me his latest exhibit was perfect in every way, and gave me a whole new breath of inspiration and confidence to create what I want. I know look forward to see if I won the raffle to have the chance to buy one of his pieces and then sell it for triple what I paid to buy myself some Yeezys… just kidding.