In Pictures: See Highlights From the Brooklyn Museum’s KAWS Extravaganza, From Early Graffiti to Sneakers and Sofas


KAWS, aka Brian Donnelly, is one of the hottest artists in the world. Which means that the Brooklyn Museum has the hottest ticket in town with the opening of “KAWS: What Party,” a career-spanning retrospective.

The work on view spans a range of genres: early graffiti and street art; paintings appropriating cartoon icons like the Simpsons and the Smurfs (including The Kaws Album, a small canvas that sold for a eye-opening $14.7 million back in 2019); many, many riffs on his signature skull-headed companion figure, sometimes blown up to monumental proportions; various street wear and toy collaborations, all displayed reverentially; and videos showing some of the artist’s more ambitious recent public interventions.

For those who haven’t booked their ticket—or just still nervous about the trip to the museum—we’ve rounded up some pictures of the highlights of “What Party.” Enjoy!

KAWS, <em>Along the Way</em> (2013). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Along the Way (2013) in the lobby of the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Entry to "KAWS: What Party" at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Entry to “KAWS: What Party” at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Wallpaper showing a preparatory drawing for a KAWS painting. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Wallpaper showing a preparatory drawing for a KAWS painting. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Entry to "KAWS: What Party" at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Entry to “KAWS: What Party” at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Collection of ephemera from early in KAWS's career. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Collection of ephemera from early in KAWS’s career. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Book from KAWS's graffiti career (ca. 1990s). (Photo by Ben Davis)

Book from KAWS’s graffiti days (ca. 1990s), showing his signature tag. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Book from KAWS's graffiti career (ca. 1990s). (Photo by Ben Davis)

Book from KAWS’s graffiti career (ca. 1990s). (Photo by Ben Davis)

Installation view of "KAWS: What Party" at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Installation view of “KAWS: What Party” at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Untitled (Haring)</em> (1997). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Untitled (Haring) (1997). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Untitled (Maidenform)</em> (1999), <em>Untitled (DKNY)</em> (1999), and <em>Untitled (DKNY)</em> (1997). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Untitled (Maidenform) (1999), Untitled (DKNY) (1999), and Untitled (DKNY) (1997). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Small K Landscape (2001), Small K Landscape (2001), Small B Landscape (2001), and Small H Landscape (2001). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Small K Landscape (2001), Small K Landscape (2001), Small B Landscape (2001), and Small H Landscape (2001). (Photo by Ben Davis)

Installation view of "KAWS: What Party" at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Installation view of “KAWS: What Party” at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Untitled (Kimpsons)</em> from the "Package Painting Series" (2001). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Untitled (Kimpsons) from the “Package Painting Series” (2001). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Untitled (Kimpsons #2)</em> (2004) and <em>Untitled (Kimpsons)</em> (2004). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Untitled (Kimpsons #2) (2004) and Untitled (Kimpsons) (2004). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>The Kaws Album</em> (2005). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, The Kaws Album (2005). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Kawsbob 3</em> (2007). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Kawsbob 3 (2007). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Man's Best Friend</em> (2014). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Man’s Best Friend (2014). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Kurfs (Cloud)</em> (2007) and <em>Kurfs (Papa)</em> (2007). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Kurfs (Cloud) (2007) and Kurfs (Papa) (2007). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Companion (Resting Place)</em> (2013). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Companion (Resting Place) (2013). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Companion (Original Fake) (2011). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Companion (Original Fake) (2011). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Chum (KCB4)</em> (2012) and <em>CHUM</em> (2008). (Photo by Ben Davis.)

KAWS, Chum (KCB4) (2012) and CHUM (2008). (Photo by Ben Davis.)

KAWS, <em>New Morning</em> (2012) and <em>Gone</em> (2020) (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, New Morning (2012) and Gone (2020) (Photo by Ben Davis)

Installation view of "KAWS: What Party" at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Installation view of the toy section in “KAWS: What Party” at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS-designed MTV "Moonman" trophy. (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS-designed MTV “Moonman” trophy. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Display of vinyl figures by KAWS. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Display of vinyl figures by KAWS. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Display of KAWS Vans. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Display of KAWS-branded Vans. (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS-designed "I Voted" buttons for the 2020 election. (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS-designed “I Voted” buttons for the 2020 election. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Display of vinyl figures by KAWS. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Display of vinyl figures by KAWS. (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Untitled (Real)</em> and <em>Untitled (Fake)</em> and KAWS x Real Skateboards, <em>Real Skateboard</em> (2007) in case. (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Untitled (Real) and Untitled (Fake) and KAWS x Real Skateboards, Real Skateboard (2007) in case. (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS and Estudio Campana, <em>KAWS: Gang (Sofa)</em> (2019). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS and Estudio Campana, KAWS: Gang (Sofa) (2019). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>CHUM (KCC7)</em> (2019). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, CHUM (KCC7) (2019). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Born to Bend</em> (2013). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Born to Bend (2013). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Mirror</em> (2018) and <em>Score Years</em> (2019). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Mirror (2018) and Score Years (2019). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Separated</em> (2019). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Separated (2019). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Separated</em> (2019) with works from the "Urge" series in the background. (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Separated (2019) with works from the “Urge” series in the background. (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Tide</em> (2020). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Tide (2020). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Take</em> (2020). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Take (2020). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>The News</em>(2017). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, The News (2017). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, preparatory sketches for <em>The News</em> (2017). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, preparatory sketches for The News (2017). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Alone Again</em> (2016) and <em>Lost Time</em> (2016). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Alone Again (2016) and Lost Time (2016). (Photo by Ben Davis)

Installation view of "KAWS: What Party" at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Installation view of “KAWS: What Party” at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, <em>Final Days</em> (2014). (Photo by Ben Davis)

KAWS, Final Days (2014). (Photo by Ben Davis)

Figurines for sale in the gift shop for "KAWS: What Party" at Brooklyn Museum, already sold out. (Photo by Ben Davis)

Figurines for sale in the gift shop for “KAWS: What Party” at Brooklyn Museum, already sold out. (Photo by Ben Davis)

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