Renowned street artist and SVA alumnus Brian Donnelly (BFA 1996 Illustration) aka KAWS has agreed to create a balloon for the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as part of the Blue Sky Gallery series. Donnelley, who is known for mixing pop culture and fine art to create cartoon-like characters in the form of toys, paintings, prints, and sculptures, received the invitation to create a balloon about two years ago. “I grew up in Jersey City, watching the parade on TV,” he told The New York Times. “It was more important than the holiday itself. To have my character in a lineup with Snoopy and Kermit is a real dream.”
Macy’s began the Blue Sky Gallery series in 2005 to add a fine art element to a pop culture event. Parade officials invited the artist Tom Otterness to create a balloon version of one of his iconic Humpty Dumpty images; Jeff Koons created “Rabbit” for the 2007 parade. Other artists who have participated in the parade include Takashi Murakami and Tim Burton.
For his contribution, Donnelley will transform his Companion character into a 40-feet-long, 34-feet-wide and 30-feet-tall balloon. Last summer, a 16-foot-tall Companion sat at the entrance to the Standard Hotel in the meatpacking district. Companion has also been on view in Hong Kong and Ridgefield, Connecticut. After the parade the balloon, along with preparatory drawings and models, will join other artists’ balloons in the Macy’s archives.
To read more about Donnelley’s project, visit The New York Times.