Tucked away among the countless stock quotes and corporate filings was one article out of the ordinary on today’s Wall Street Journal. In his Life and Style segment, journalist Howie Kahn recounted the career of artist Brian Donnelly, better known as KAWS. From his start as a mere graffiti tagger on the streets of Jersey City, New Jersey, to selling works valued at $315,000 in his most recent showing, Donnelly shared some of the highlights in his career thus far. Then there was the 40-foot-long curiosity, or more accurately KAWS’ very own balloon figure for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
A floating version of KAWS’ COMPANION caricature, down to the two hands covering its eyes, which John Piper, Macy’s lead designer, joked that “…it’s the first time we’ve had a character that’s shy…” Completely painted by hand with a special set of color palette dictated by Donnelly himself (it took six tries to get it right), the balloon will hold about 4,500 cubic feet of helium. A medium balloon in size when compared to others on the Macy’s parade, it still took a team of 30 artisans seven months to put together. With so much preparation underway just for one KAWS figure, maybe people will be less incline to send him hate mail now.