KAWS, one of the most commercial and sought after artists of today has announced his departure from Perrotin, the gallery that has represented him for over a decade.
Perrotin, which has galleries in New York, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul and Shanghai, has been showing and largely profiting off of the artist’s great popularity since 2008. KAWS, whose real name is Brian Donnelly, will remain represented by Skarstedt Gallery, which has two spaces in London and in New York.
The gallery, which has locations in New York, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul, and Shanghai, has shown the artist, whose real name is Brian Donnelly, since 2008.
Over the course of the past decade, Perrotin has exhibited nine solo shows by the artist and has long hailed their collaboration. Emmanuel Perrotin, the gallery’s founder, said in a statement, “We are very proud of the work we did with KAWS over these 11 years of our collaboration. Considering all the pressure, this collaboration has come to an end. In any case, we will be satisfied if his career continues to develop in a good way and we wish him all the very best moving forward.”
Donnelly’s departure didn’t come at a complete surprise as Perrotin had hinted at the news last week during an interview with Artnet News, telling the publication, “I doubt he will continue with us for long.”
Skarstedt gallery has shown KAWS’s work in the past few years, most recently hosting a solo exhibition last year in its New York City space.
KAWS’s departure comes at a time when his market is booming. His work recently achieved a new record at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, where his 2005 painting The Kaws Album soared past its $1m estimate and eventually sold for $14.7m. Similarly, NYT (COMPANION CLOSE UP) BROWN from 2013 sold for $2.31m at Christie’s London and KURF (Hot Dog) from 2008 sold for $2.66m at Sotheby’s London as well.
Also coinciding with his departure are preparations for a KAWS survey expected to open at the Brooklyn Museum in 2021, marking his first ever full-career exhibition in his home city. KAWS originally started off as a street artist, gaining fame for his paintings and sculptures of characters from pop-cultural sources like the television shows The Simpsons and Spongebob SquarePants. Despite his humble beginnings, he is now fully established in the blue-chip gallery world.