Who is the Artist?
The artist is KAWS -- his birth name is Brian Donnelly. He's from Jersey City, but now lives in Brooklyn and he got his start as a graffiti artist in New Jersey and NYC.
This large-scale sculpture is titled "Along the Way" and it shows two of his signature "Companion" figures -- like big cartoon mice with Xs on their eyes and heads shaped like skulls-and-crossbones. There are two other works by him nearby (1 painting on the wall above the museum store and 1 on the wall on the way to the bathrooms towards the street).
What kind of wood is this? Where was this made?
The sculpture was made in the Netherlands, from a type of wood commonly known as African Teak or Afrormosia.
Is the artist's name KAWS?
Yes, this is KAWS's work. The title of this piece is "Along the Way."
I am just wondering about what this sculpture is and what it represents, if anything?
That piece is by a contemporary artist who goes by the name of KAWS. That sculpture is a very large version of KAWS' "COMPANION sculptures" which were first produced in Japan in 1999 as a limited edition of small toys.The large sculpture is referencing many things--consumer products, brands, childhood characters (think Disney), companionship (through the hands on shoulder/waist), and even death (through the crossed out eyes). Many visitors are making their own interpretations from these mixed symbols. KAWS has said about his work " I found it weird how infused a cartoon could become in people's lives; the impact it could have, compared to regular politics."
How much does this weigh?
It weighs six tons in all, it is solid wood.
We enjoyed watching the riggers assemble it when it arrived in the building, limb by heavy limb.
What's the deal with this thing?
This is one of the latest additions to the Brooklyn Museum's collection. The artist is known as KAWS, and the work's title is "Along the Way."
Do you know why the artist made the choice to put X's in place of the eyes?
That's definitely one of his signature motifs -- the X-ed out eyes. You'll also see them in the two paintings by KAWS that are hanging around the lobby.
It definitely makes them more mysterious and even a little troubling -- I end up wondering, are they asleep? are they blind? are they just sad? It shows us that these cartoon-y creatures might have a darker side.
How big was the team that helped him?
So, we don't actually know how many people were involved in the making of this sculpture, but I can tell you a little more about the artist's process. An earlier version of this work was produced in an limited edition of toys in 1999 and released in Japan. With that model in mind, the artist generated a model for the enlargement of the piece. He finally ended up working with a woodshop in the Netherlands, which helped him produce it. The artist himself spoke about this: "I start with drawings, then I work with a sculptor to make a small model. When I have that right, I send it to the foundry to digitize and produce it in large-scale."
How tall is this statue?
That piece is 216 inches tall, or, 18 feet.