Art@Site Kaws BFF Los Angeles




Playa Vista
he is our hero
BFF is a magnet: this eye-catching giant raises so many questions that he does not peel off.
He has an outrageous color. This blue color is used only in cheap advertisements. Doesn't he know that he could be laughed at because of this color? What is he going to do with his funny feet and his hands in delicate gloves? Would BFF pat us on the head and give us a hug with his soft fur? How wonderful it would be to rest a moment in the arms of a warm human being.
Best Friend Forever is a true hero. He is exactly what we need in our time. We live in a time where we dress us like heroes. In a time where we need to fight for a spot. Where success matters. In which the battle is continuous and there is no time to rest. Where people stand up for themselves and are only sweet to a small immediate circle of loved ones.
According to Elaine Kinsella a hero has: bravery, moral integrity, courage, conviction, honesty, willingness to protect others and self-sacrificin
The only character trait I'm unsure with BFF is bravery, courage. Has a BFF that? I'd say so: his boldness shows with this intense blue color.
And then BFF is also a cheerful hero with a yellow nose ;-)
By Theo,

hij is onze held
BFF is een magneet: deze opvallende reus roept zoveel vragen op dat hij ons niet loslaat.
Hij heeft een belachelijke kleur. Deze blauwe kleur wordt alleen gebruikt bij goedkope reclames. Zou hij niet weten dat hij uitgelachen kan worden om zijn kleur? Wat gaat hij doen met zijn grappige voeten en handen in delicate handschoentjes? Zou BFF ons een aai over de bol willen geven en een knuffel willen geven met zijn dikke vacht? Wat zou het heerlijk zijn om even te rusten in de armen van een warm mens.
Best Friends Forever is een echte held. Hij is precies wat wij nodig hebben in onze tijd. Wij leven in een tijd waarin wij onszelf als helkleden. In een tijd waarin je moet vechten voor een plek. Waarin succes telt. Waarin het gevecht continu doorgaat en er geen tijd is om uit te rusten. Waarin mensen voor zichzelf opkomen maar alleen lief zijn voor een kleine directe kring van geliefden.
Volgens Elaine Kinsella heeft een held: moed, morele integriteit, overtuiging, eerlijkheid, bereidheid om anderen te beschermen en zelfopoffering.
De enige karaktereigenschap waarover ik twijfel bij BFF is moed, lef. Heeft BFF dat? Ik zou zeggen van wel: zijn lef blijkt uit zijn felblauwe kleur.
En dan is BFF is ook nog eens een vrolijke held, met zijn gele neus ;-)
Door Theo,
This character is called BFF, which stands for Best Friends Forever. KAWS created BFF in 2016 to join his family of figures, including COMPANION, ACCOMPLICE and CHUM.
In 2019, Paris Fashion Week saw Dior designer Kim Jones debut his Spring / Summer 2019 collection with a KAWS interpretation of the fashion house's iconic bee design, set against the backdrop of a 33-ft tall pink flower sculpture of KAWS's 'BFF' character, reproduced as an editioned toy in a mini Dior suit.
Kaws: Companionship in the age of loneliness.
His work is infused with humour, humanity and an acute sense of the precariousness of our times. The work of KAWS reminds us that we need one another, and that in the face of fear and hatred we should aim to live as compassionately as possible to combat this 'age of loneliness'.
His origins in graffiti brought his work to a diverse audience, many of whom had nothing to do with the art world. Unlike most artists, KAWS did not start out with a gallery; he was fully aware of the benefits of showing his work in the street and mass-producing pieces in order to build a following. This following became so big that it attracted the attention of collectors and crieaking of his early days as a graffiti artist, Donnelly said, 'When I was doing graffiti, my whole thought was, 'I just want to exist.' I want to exist with this visual language in the world' It meant nothing to me to make paintings if I wasn't reaching people.'
In 1999 KAWS visited Japan after being approached by Bounty Hunter, the cult toy and streetwear brand. He would go on to create his first toy, 'Compagnion'.
Described by curator and art historian Michael Auping as '[Clement] Greenberg's worst nightmare', KAWS is seen as the enfant terrible of the New York art world. Many have compared him to Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, whose own inimitable styles started out on the street, as well as Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons, who both had an instinctive understanding of the possibilities of art in the age of mechanical reproduction.
KAWS has name-checked his influences, which vary from Claes Oldenburg and Tom Wesselman to Takashi Murakami, the latter in terms of what the cceptance and crossover projects'.
In 2012 a KAWS COMPANION balloon was seen floating down the streets of Manhattan as part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, its XX eyes covered by large gloved hands. Its appearance alongside characters as Mickey Mouse and Sonic the Hedgehog provided further proof of KAWS' ability to transform art into a spectacle for mass consumption.
'No cartoon is safe from being consumed and turned into KAWS,' says Christie's associate specialist Noah Davis. The artist is known for subverting iconic cartoon heroes and in doing so he demonstrates his interest in the characters' universal cultural value, reinforcing the idea that he makes no distinction between concepts of 'high' and 'low' art.
Brian Donnelly (born November 4, 1974), known professionally as Kaws (stylized as KAWS), is an American artist and designer. His work includes repeated use of a cast of figurative characters and motifs, some dating back to the beginnhe 1990s, initially painted in 2D and later realized in 3D. Some of his characters are his own creations while others are reworked versions of existing icons.
Kaws' sculptures range in size from a few inches to ten meters tall, and are made from various materials including fiberglass, aluminum, wood, bronze, and a steel pontoon inflatable raft.
Kaws' influences come from traditional high art painters like Gerhard Richter, Claes Oldenburg, and Chuck Close, and he has been compared to the likes of Andy Warhol for his cross-market appeal and ability to blur lines between commercial and fine art. His work is exhibited in galleries and museums, held in the permanent collections of public institutions, and avidly collected by individuals including music producer Swizz Beatz, internet figure PewDiePie, rapper Pharrell Williams, and members of South Korean group BTS. A number of books illustrating his work have been published.
Kaws lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, creating sculptures, acrylic paintings on canvas, and screen prints while also collaborating commercially, predominantly on limited edition toys, but also clothing, skateboard decks, and other products.
Comic book artist Bill Morrison felt 'ripped off' by Kaws' 2005 work The Kaws Album because the work was simply a 'traced interpretation of my Simpsons Yellow Album' (released in 1998), which itself was a parody of the cover art for the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band replaced with characters from the Simpsons.'
Analysis: heroes and role models influence us psychologically in several ways.
The word hero comes from heros, the Greek word meaning protector. The concept of hero has existed for centuries, first appearing in Homer's Iliad. In ancient folklore and mythology, heroes were often the strong, warrior-type characters who offered physical protection to others.
People continue to use the term hero frequently in everyday life and the media. In our research, 66% of people sampled across 25 countries indicated having at least one personal hero. But what does the label 'hero' mean in modern life?
To answer this question, we embarked on a series of studies to understand better the defining characteristics of people that are labelled heroic. To our surprise, 26 characteristics were consistently mentioned when describing a hero, highlighting the complexity of the term. The most defining characteristics of heroes included bravery, moral integrity, courage, conviction, honesty, willingness to protect others and self-sacrificing. That research shows that heroes are celebrated for both their agency (asserting the self, striving for achievement and competence) and communion (merging and co-operating with others), two aspects of the human psyche that are often described as opposing dimensions.
There are three types of heroes: martial heroes (people trained to handle dangerous situations and routinely put themselves at physical risk for their duty), civil heroes (everyday citizens who risk their lives to intervene in emergency scenarios) and social heroes (individuals who behave heroically in the service of ideas). Often sacrificing their time, finances and social status, social heroes work to serve their community. Whistleblowers, political activists and religious figures fall into the category of social hero. Commonly named social heroes include Nelson Mandela, Greta Thunberg, Mahatma Gandhi, and Malala Yousafzai.
Naming heroes is often a subjective and personal process as there can be disagreements about who is or is not heroic. Some heroes are treasured by entire groups or societies, while others are treasured by a minority few. Despite the variety of heroes that people name, most display the defining characteristics of heroes mentioned above.
Adults typically describe heroes differently to role models, although there are some areas of overlap. Role models can be good or bad, are often geographically close to us and are people we observe in detail and wish to emulate (or be like). Heroes are not necessarily geographically close, may be dead or alive, and may be people we have never met. Heroes are typically people who risk a great deal to challenge the status quo in pursuit of their values or ideals, many of whom have endured great hardship and self-sacrifice and therefore, we would not wish to emulate. While heroes are often flawed, they are, for the most part, considered virtuous and moral. Some heroes are also role models and vice versa.
Role models offer us guidance for how we might like to behave. In the workplace, a role model may be one or two steps ahead on the career ladder. In sport, a role model may demonstrate superb competence and motivate us to keep striving for self-improvement. Research indicates that role models in a self-relevant domain can help us feel more positive about ourselves and inspired when we feel that we can accomplish a similar level of success. However, when we feel we cannot live up to the standards or accomplishments of our role model we feel self-deflated.
Although we typically do not wish to emulate our heroes, they do influence adults psychologically in several ways. Unlike role models, heroes are not described as self-deflating. Perhaps because we know that a hero's behaviour is exceptional or extraordinary, so we do not make direct social comparisons. According to our research, there are three broad psychological and social functions provided by heroes:
(i) enhancing the lives of others;
(ii) modelling morals and
(iii) protecting others both psychologically and physically.
Heroes enhance our lives by inspiring, motivating, guiding, instilling hope and improving morale and make other feel more positive about the self and others which boosts feelings of social connectedness. They model morals and values, remind others about the good in the world, and make the world better (and inspire us to do likewise). Heroes are sometimes described as moral symbols that serve to shift our focus away from self-centred concerns.
Heroes protect hers by saving others, helping others, acting against danger or injustice, acting when others do not, and acting on behalf of vulnerable individuals or groups. They protect us from death or injury by intervening in emergency situations and protect us psychologically by helping us to get through tough times. Thinking about the great challenges endured by our hero may make our own challenges lessen in comparison.
Several sociologists, psychologists, and philosophers have noted that humans need external reference points for goals, standards, and ways to behave ' needs which can be met by role models and heroes. At times in our life (such as life transitions) or at times in history (including time of economic or political uncertainty), our need for role models or heroes may be greater. When honourable heroes are not available, we may turn to pseudo-heroes, celebrities, online 'influencers' and negative role models to fulfil our needs. The challenge is, perhaps, to become aware of the people that are influeing our lives ' including our heroes and role models (if we have them) ' and question the extent that we admire and embrace their values and behaviours.
The term 'culture hero' was first brought about by historian Kurt Breysig; however, he used the German word heilbringer, which translates to 'savior'. Over the years, 'culture hero' has been interpreted in many ways. Older interpretations by Breysig, Paul Ehrenreich, and Wilhelm Schmidt thought that the journeys of culture heroes were ways in which humans could attempt to understand things in nature, such as the rising and setting of the sun, or the movement of the stars and constellations. Their interpretations eventually got rejected and replaced with newer interpretations by scholars such as Hermann Baumann, Adolf E. Jensen, Mircea Eliade, Otto Zerries, Raffaele Pettazzoni, and Harry Tegnaeus which evolved as a result of having more access to ethnological data, creating the present day and famously known version of the cre hero.
A culture hero is able to perform unbelievable tasks in life because they are different from the normal human. It is often believed that the culture hero is not from this world. All of a culture hero's power originates from their birth. Culture heroes are rarely born regularly. When their mothers get pregnant, it is not because of a man but instead is the result of the wind, or a drop of water. Once a culture hero is born, they are either very powerful babies or even come out of the womb as already full grown. The main point this makes is that the culture hero is not from this world.
A culture hero generally goes on an adventure (often called the hero's journey) that in turn does one of the following:
- Saves humankind from a dangerous monster
- Shapes the world (rivers, mountains, etc...)
- Creates distinction between humans and animals
- Makes economic life possible for humans (teaching the humans)
- Sets the origin of death
Culture heroes often have more than one form, such as having the ability to transform from human to some form of animal, such as a fish or bird. A culture hero has many good qualities about him/her but also has bad ones as well which is why they must go on their journeys. In some journeys the hero is known as a trickster. They act in their own selfish way and the benefits from what they have done ends up being shared with.
Once the culture hero has finished their task, they usually end up disappearing. In many stories, the hero is transformed back to their origin. Other times the place they die will be marked with a stone, tree, or body of water. The end of a culture hero's life will lead to the creation of something else, such as a river, constellations, food, animals, and the moon and sun. Culture heroes are the etiological explanation for many humans about the things occurring in their daily lives.