KAWS Announces Hot-Air Balloon World Tour And New ‘COMPANION’ Collectibles | Arts


It was announced on Monday that KAWS, also known as Brian Donnelly, intends to fly his huge sculpture over major cities in Australia, China, Turkey and Spain by way of a hot-air balloon tour called KAWS:HOLIDAY.


Prices are not yet known, but organised flights will allow groups of two or three people to board the balloon during the various escapades, with packages now available to purchase via flat and cryptocurrency payments on the DDT webstore here.


With Bristol being a city known for hosting one of Europe’s largest hot air balloon festivals, it was the perfect setting for a recent test flight of the hot-air balloon, which reimagines KAWS signature work COMPANION covering its eyes, as revealed by pictures taken of the balloon at 42 meters (138 feet) high. Just imagine, the colossal aerial artwork is about as tall as a 15-story building.


KAWS is an American artist and designer who paints, sculpts and creates toys. Pop art influences his artwork, such as the Disney-style ‘Companion’, which resembles the illustrations of Takashi Murakami.


He worked in animation after graduating from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Initially a graffiti artist in the early 1990s, his work is now in the collections of the High Museum in Atlanta, the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas and the Rosenblum Collection in Paris.


Beyond a unique experience for those lucky enough to fly in the balloon, Donnelly says he wants to provide a special moment for those on the ground. This huge project is the result of an ongoing partnership with Hong Kong creative studio AllRightsReserved.


“It really will be an unexpected thing in the sky”, he said. “To have a work that suddenly interrupts your sight line for a few minutes, going through different cities in the world, is, for me, very exciting


The hot air balloon will spend approximately one month in each chosen city, beginning in late 2021. Mr Donnelly added that the initiative was a way of coping with the restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. To celebrate the hot-air balloon world tour, KAWS has also released a series of 12-inch COMPANION collectible figurines, containers and hoodies, which are also available on the DDT webstore.




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