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Complex Magazine recently caught up with renown New York-based artist Brian Donnelly, better known in the art/fashion world as KAWS. Amongst various topics, KAWS chimes in on his recent collaboration with famed Japanese artist Hajime Sorayama, his mentality on the current state of graffiti, and chats a bit about his clothing line, OriginalFake.
KAWS on winding up in Japan…
I first went there in 1997 to do some street work and billboards, and there was no graf on the street. But when I went back the next time, MQ had killed it with fill-ins, and then Barry [McGee] and other guys got over there. [Bringing graffiti to Tokyo] isn’t something I’m necessarily proud of, but it’s kind of funny. Now there is stuff in the streets like any other city. I don’t think there are any more untouched cities, or will ever be anything like that again.
…on Hajime Sorayama
Well, it’s only recently that there even really is an art market in Japan, so his craft was about finding a way to do what he wanted to within a commercial world. But instead of doing product like I do, he painted and made money through illustration work. I think it’s awesome that he figured out a way to chill and make the paintings he wants.
The interview in its entirety can be found here.