Posted on March 13, 2020

Doha is one of the cities where celebrated American contemporary artist Brian Donnelly, more famously known as KAWS, launched his groundbreaking augmented reality (AR) works.

Known in Doha for his colossal “Small Lie” sculpture unveiled at the Hamad International Airport two years ago, KAWS recently marked his first Middle East museum exhibition at the Fire Station. In collaboration with Acute Art, KAWS has produced works called“Expanded Holiday,”which convey a sense of mischievous humour through the juxtaposition of physical and virtual worlds.

These works launched yesterday demonstrate the enormous potential of AR, creating new ways to own, trade, and live with art via the Acute Art app. “When I realised the quality that could be achieved and experienced in AR, I was immediately drawn to its potential. I have been creating objects and exhibiting works in public spaces throughout my career, and this allows me to expand on that in a whole new arena. The possibilities of locations and scale are endless, and I’m excited to start a new dialogue in this medium,” said KAWS.

Yesterday’s global launch included three components namely a public exhibition and two editions. “Companion (Expanded)” is a global exhibition of 12 monumental AR sculptures available for audiences in major cities and locations in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Middle East, North America, and South America. Using cutting-edge technology, this project represents a new exhibition model that reduces transportation and travel for a global artworld. The exhibition runs for two weeks, from yesterday until March 26 in 11 key cities around the world including Doha, Hong Kong, London, Melbourne, New York, Paris, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Taipei, Tanzania, and Tokyo. For art enthusiasts in Doha, the AR sculptures can be viewed at the Museum of Islamic Art Park through the Acute Art app.

Also launched yesterday was an edition of 25 1.8m AR sculptures called “Companion (Expanded) available to acquire via the Acute Art website. Owners will be able to place, capture, and document these AR works at different locations using the Acute Art app. Owners can keep the AR sculptures private or make them publicly available for anyone who has downloaded the app. The open edition three 45cm AR sculptures called “At This Time (Expanded)” is available for time- based acquisition via the Acute Art app. Audiences can keep the works for 24 hours or 10 days at a time and can share their experiences through social media.

Commenting on the launch, Jacob De Geer, CEO, Acute Art, said: “Acute Art will revolutionise the way AR art can be experienced. KAWS, an artist with an unparalleled global fan base, is the perfect artist to launch the Acute Art app. His editions will demonstrate that works of art in virtual space can be just as precious and sought-after as those in our physical surroundings. In fact, they are even more exciting when shared with audiences across the globe on social media. For collectors, this means their art can travel with them in their pocket wherever they go. These prized artworks can be enjoyed and traded globally with the push of a button.”

Daniel Birnbaum, Artistic Director, Acute Art, said: “With this project KAWS breaks new ground but also returns to his beginnings. With roots in public interventions as well as late emanations of Pop Art, KAWS has created new global audiences. There is no artist more talked about today than KAWS.”

source: The Peninsula