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KAWS @ Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts

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It was a packed house this past Friday when street art charmed it’s way into classical art at Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts for the opening reception of the KAWS exhibit. The Brooklyn based artist, Brian Donnelly (aka KAWS) was on hand for the opening and was continually surrounded throughout the night by fans waiting to get KAWS paraphernalia signed.

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The exhibit showcases over 60 paintings and sculptures throughout the historic Frank Furness building. Large sculpture variations of the Companion stand guard around the balcony in front of PAFA’s large scale paintings – not to mention the 9-foot Born To Bend  KAWS sculpture bathed in a spotlight outside the building on the plinth over the main door (at night from the second floor you can see the sculpture seemingly glow from outside the stained glass window.

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The big treat however is how some of the pieces are arranged.  In one long gallery, at first glance it seems like any other salon type exhibit with multiple brightly colored paintings scattered throughout one wall in the mammoth room.  But on closer inspection you begin to see that his work is juxtaposed with other classic works in a very deliberate and whimsical way –  the paintings are arranged to mimic the classic paintings hanging on the opposite wall.

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The KAWS exhibit runs from now until January 5, 2014. The Born To Bend sculpture will stay a bit longer, holding out until August of 2014.

 

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