Do you like collecting figures? If you do, how about virtual figures? Recently there is an exciting and huge collaboration between the London based art tech startup Acute Art and KAWS, one of the most popular pop artists and designers from New York to make virtual figure collection possible for everyone around the world.
Acute Art has been producing visual artworks in Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) and collaborating with renowned international artists including Marina Abramović, Jeff Koons and more. KAWS with the real name Brian Donnelly has been well known for his skills in creating sculpture, pop art and graffiti and Companion, a grayscale clown-like figure based on Mickey Mouse with his face obscured by both hands is certainly his signatory creation. KAWS’ artworks are highly appreciated by collectors and it is remarkable that his 2012 painting, CHUM (KCB7) was sold for USD 2,412,500.
KAWS’ previous project KAWS: Holiday placing the large-scale sculpture Companion at the Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, Mount Fuji in Tokyo as well as in Seoul and Taipei was a huge success and recently he has set up a new challenge: producing AR sculptures with Acute Art. After downloading the Acute Art app from Play Store or App Store, both Android and iPhone users will have a choice to buy the COMPANION (EXPANDED) and AT THIS TIME (EXPANDED) AR sculpture collection and place them at the place you desire. The former can be collected privately or made publicly available for anyone who has downloaded the app while the latter will be kept by the user for either 7 or 30 days and such experience can be shared on social media.
There are also global public exhibitions of COMPANION (EXPANDED) in different cities from 12 to 26 March 2020 and the public sculptures can be found at following locations: Doha (MIA Park – Museum of Islamic Art), Qatar; Hong Kong (Observation Wheel), Hong Kong; London (Millennium Bridge), UK; Melbourne (National Gallery of Victoria), Australia; New York (Brooklyn Museum), US; New York (Times Square), US; Paris (The Louvre Pyramid), France; Sao Paulo (Ibirapuera Park), Brazil; Seoul (Dongdaemun Design Plaza), Korea; Taipei (National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall), Taiwan; Tanzania (Serengeti National Park); and Tokyo (Shibuya Crossing), Japan.
Yesterday KAWS stated on his Instagram account that gatherings at the above locations are not encouraged due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and now users of Acute Art app are able to put the small version of COMPANION (EXPANDED) at anywhere to take a snapshot on how they place the Companion and share it for free until 15 April this year. To view photos and videos created by the others with COMPANION (EXPANDED), you may search for tags like #KAWS, #KAWSxAcute and #EXPANDEDHOLIDAY on social networks. And here is our creation👉!
Daniel Birnbaum, the Artistic Director of Acute Art is proud of the EXPANDED HOLIDAY project and comments, “The emergence of a new medium always gives rise to new possibilities for art. Each epoch seems to have its key artists in whose work a novel encounter between technology and artistic creativity crystalizes. Today’s immersive media create entirely new possibilities for the production and distribution of art and the arrival of AR can even be said to give rise to a new immaterial art form. With this project KAWS breaks new ground but also returns to his beginnings. With roots in public interventions as well as late emanations of Pop Art, KAWS has created new global audiences. There is no artist more talked about today than KAWS.”