KAWS (real name Brian Donnelly) was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. He studied illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York before working as a freelance animator at Disney. He also worked on the children's animations '101 Dalmations', 'Daria' and 'Doug'.
His art career began as a graffiti artist in New Jersey, he would deface advertisements on billboards, bus shelters and phone booths. In the late 1990s, KAWS began designing limited edition toys that were a hit with global art toy-collectors, most prominently in Japan. He created more toys and clothing for the brand Original Fake, a collaboration with Medicom Toy. He has also worked with Nigo for 'A Bathing Ape'.
He is noted for blurring the lines between fine art and mass-produced merchandise. He has used his products to present art that permeates a larger audience than simply the art world, although he remains involved in the commercial art and fine art communities.
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