American artist and designer Brian Donnelly, best known as KAWS, has also continued to work under the influence of Warhol as his popularity has surged in the artworld. His work engages with consumer culture, merging graffiti with fine art, design, and commerce, just like Warhol, but perhaps in an even more playful manner. KAWS’ career has fluctuated between art and commercial work from the beginning. In the late 1990s Donnelly became famous for vinyl toys he designed. Today Kaws is famous for repeated use of a cast of figurative characters and motifs. One of his designs, “Companion”, is a figure of Mickey Mouse with X-ed out eyes that was created with Japanese company Bounty Hunter in 1999. He later isolates and pulls the “X” theme from the X-ed out eyes and uses it as a signature motif of his commercial art. He then takes this motif and emphasizes it singularly within the higher fine art form of a painting, as evidenced in Untitled (2013). This is almost the reverse maneuver from Warhol’s commentary. Instead of pulling in the banal object from the commercial world, he is putting a reference to his own commercial, design art into his own Fine Art.


Untitled, 2013

Acrylic on Canvas

38" x 31.875"

Artwork Title
Acrylic on Canvas
50" x 50"

Artist Name


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