The Art Angle Podcast: KAWS Is the World’s Most Popular Artist. Why?

This week, Ben Davis joins the show to discuss if this is KAWS for alarm.

KAWS's installation in Taipei. Photo: © All Rights Reserved.

Welcome to the Art Angle, a podcast from Artnet News that delves into the places where the art world meets the real world, bringing each week’s biggest story down to earth. Join host Andrew Goldstein every week for an in-depth look at what matters most in museums, the art market, and much more with input from our own writers and editors as well as artists, curators, and other top experts in the field.

Art shows are a thing again! At least in New York, at least for now, and at least in the socially distanced way that we’ve come to see as normal. But it’s really great news for the art museum-going crowd. And it’s even better news that some of the shows on view are really, really good.

Without question, one of the buzziest shows of the season is the Brooklyn Museum’s sweeping survey of the street artist and late capitalism prodigy known as KAWS, one of the most popular artists in the world.

So, is his show really, really good? What’s the deal with KAWS anyway? We decided to ask Artnet News chief art critic Ben Davis, who saw the show and wrote a review of it with the arresting title “Why KAWS’s Global Success May Well Be a Symptom of a Depressed Culture, Adrift in Nostalgia and Retail Therapy.”

On this week’s episode we dive into the social-media, fast-fashion, luxury-object, street-artist fever dream that helped propel Brian Donnelly, aka KAWS, to superstardom.

Listen to Other Episodes:

The Art Angle Podcast: How the Pandemic Totally Changed the Art Market

The Art Angle Podcast: How NFTs Are Changing the Art Market as We Know It

The Art Angle Podcast: Lorraine O’Grady on the Social Castes of the Art World

The Art Angle Podcast (Re-Air): Why Artist Trevor Paglen Is Doing Everything He Can to Warn Humanity About Artificial Intelligence

The Art Angle Podcast: What Will Be the Fate of the Benin Bronzes?

The Art Angle Podcast: The Haunting History of the Benin Bronzes

The Art Angle Podcast: The Surprising Lessons of FDR’s New Deal Art Programs

The Art Angle Podcast: 5 Steamy, Whirlwind Romances That Changed Art History

The Art Angle Podcast: MoMA Curator Paola Antonelli on Design for the Post-Pandemic World

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.