Brian Donnelly (popularly known as KAWS) has built a reputation for himself by producing eye-catching sculptural pieces for the past two decades. KAWS’ cartoon-like concepts, such as Elmo with double X’s for eyes, have captivated audiences of all ages. However, in one of his most recent pieces last year, KAWS collaborated with Danilo Lauria, a local video artist based in New York City, to produce a dreamy virtual tour of Gaud’s Casa Batllo. Brian Donnelly described the design for Gaud’s as “simply weird, but in a magical environment.” Donnelly was heartwarmingly blown away by how incredible Casa Battlo was built and redesigned into pure enchantment.
The studio was designed in 1904, during which time the Catalan architect was working on some of his most famous Art Nouveau constructions. Casa Batllo has a skeleton look to it, which adds to the horrific effect of the short film of KAWS sculptures moving around the area. The video was developed utilizing Brian Donnelly’s augmented reality or AR program, which he collaborated on with Acute Art, an international business that works with artists to develop new digital platforms.
These ethereal motion pictures set in far-flung locations give off a sense of relief from the banalities of today’s circumstances due to COVID-19, when we are all constrained by travel and continue to adhere towards social distancing. Donnelly, on the other hand, does not believe that once COVID-19 is bested, art will cease to exist.
The sculptures, which depicted KAWS’ partner figure floating in the air with its face hidden, were viewable via Acute Art’s mobile app. The project also had a business component to it. It established a precedent for how augmented reality art is marketed in the future. KAWS is now currently selling pieces of the project in a number of different ways in over 11 countries worldwide.