Kaws’s quest for world domination continues with a hugely ambitious new exhibition/augmented reality project/video game launched in collaboration with the Serpentine Galleries in London. Kaws: New Fiction launches today (until 27 February) at the Serpentine North venue with works on show such as Watching (2018), a sculpture depicting the artist’s trademark Companion figure, and paintings including New Fiction (2018).
Visitors can also tap into augmented reality sculptures around the gallery via an app produced by the digital medium company Acute Art (Skarstedt Gallery, which represents Kaws, is also supporting the show). The "revolutionary" aspect of the project is a virtual recreation of the Serpentine show in the online video game Fortnite, “allowing millions of players from all over the world to experience the exhibition from anywhere”, according to the press blurb (so teenagers everywhere can log on to the Kensington Gardens Kaws experience).
Daniel Birnbaum, the artistic director of Acute Art and the curator of New Fiction, pointed out at the press preview this morning that the Fortnite collaboration means the show “will reach an audience ten times bigger than the Venice Biennale”, and could be the “most attended exhibition” ever. The hyperbole continues in a statement—"His art transcends genres and defies all traditional hierarchies," Birnbaum adds.
Finally, Birnbaum says that “Brian [Donelly, aka Kaws] has a background in street interventions... and is probably the most visible artist in the world”, highlighting the artist's strange arc from graffiti supremo to his new position at the heart of the art establishment.