KAWS at The Standard: A Monumental Kids' Cartoon

The Warholesque pop artist presents a 16-foot Mickey Mouse at the New York hotel.

Photo by Brad Bridgers for the Aldrich Museum

Starting this Wednesday, there will be a (temporary) addition to New York City's pantheon of beloved oversize statues, like the Statue of Liberty or Urs Fischer's 23-foot tall copper teddy bear on Park Avenue. Tomorrow, Brooklyn designer and artist KAWS will debut a 16-foot-tall sculptural take on a certain iconic cartoon mouse entitled Companion (Passing Through) outside The Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District. The gigantic, somewhat depressed-looking fellow is KAWS' second collaboration with the Standard (earlier this year the hotel presented his limited-edition filament light bulbs, which proved so popular that they have since sold out). Working in Pop Art tradition of Warhol, KAWS is best known for blending high-society sophistication with graffiti-inspired high jinks; consider his 2010 painting, Until I'm Gone, a partial black-and-white acrylic reconstruction of SpongeBob Squarepants with X-ed out eyes (a KAWS signature). Since his start defacing billboards in Jersey City, KAWS has acquired the cachet similar to that of British street-art sensation Bansky and the commerical and popular success of… well… a cartoon character. Now he takes his place with Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi as one of the great public-sculpture artists of New York — at least until October, when Companion (Passing Through) passes on to its next temporary home.

By William Gruppo

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