Kaws brings his art to the Serpentine Gallery in London and Fortnite

The exhibition blends physical and AR artworks, with the entire show recreated in Fortnite

Kaws: New Fiction in Fortnite © Epic Games

Brian Donnelly, the New York-based artist better known by his alias Kaws, is showing works in a new show at London’s Serpentine Gallery, his first major solo exhibition in the city.

The exhibition, called New Fiction, blends Donnelly’s physical artworks – a combination of street art, graphic design and his cartoonish, eyeless sculptures – with AR versions of each piece. These can be accessed through the Acute Art app, along with a miniature render of the entire show.

Mirror (2018), Sleepless (2018), Getting The Call (2018) and What Party (2020), installed at Serpentine. Image © Jonty Wilde, courtesy Kaws
Kaws: New Fiction in Fortnite © Epic Games

The show has also been translated to Fortnite, the first time an artist has held an exhibition in the game. Fortnite has previously hosted cultural events like Travis Scott’s 2020 concert, while Radiohead’s digital exhibition from November was also overseen by the game’s developer, Epic Games. Kaws previously teamed up with Fortnite last Halloween on a skeleton skin for players to use in the game.

Speaking with the Guardian about the show, Donnelly said: “There’s no comparison when standing in front of a painting or a piece of sculpture. So I was sceptical, thinking about digital versions. But when I started working with Acute, [I realised that] working with them is the same back and forth as when I work with the bronze foundry, or the factory that I make toys in. And the quality they achieve, it seems very real.”

The project also encompasses a print by Kaws, and a publication is expected further down the line.

AR version of Companion (Expanded), 2020. Image courtesy of Kaws and Acute Art
Kaws: New Fiction in Fortnite © Epic Games
Family (2021) and Untitled (2019). Image © Jonty Wilde, courtesy Kaws
Seeing (2018), Sleepless (2018), Getting The Call (2018) and What Party (2020). Image © Jonty Wilde, courtesy Kaws

Kaws: New Fiction runs at the Serpentine North Gallery until February 27, and is available through Fortnite indefinitely; serpentinegalleries.org

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