X Marks the Spot: COMPANION by KAWS Joins the Line-Up of the 86th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®

KAWS is the Latest Artist to Join the Parade’s Blue Sky Gallery Series Featuring Contemporary Art Balloons

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Ready to put his stamp on another pop culture phenomenon, KAWS joins the balloon line-up of the 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®. World-renowned artist, KAWS takes to the skies of New York City with a flying giant, the latest entry into the famed holiday spectacle’s Blue Sky Gallery series, which invites celebrated contemporary artists to create flying art for the Thanksgiving Day procession.

Helping to bring fine art to the masses, the KAWS balloon will take the shape of one of his most famous characters, COMPANION. The balloon, designed in collaboration with the artists at Macy’s Parade Studio, will transform COMPANION into a high-flying giant, measuring approximately 40-feet long, 23-feet wide, and 30-feet tall.

“COMPANION is a subject of mine that has been exhibited the world over, from Atlanta to Hong Kong, manifesting in sculptures that range from six inches to 16 feet,” said KAWS. “I’m very proud that the largest COMPANION to date will debut, soaring in the New York City skyline.”

“KAWS brings a unique visual aesthetic to the line-up of giant character balloons that will help bring accessible, contemporary art to millions,” said Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She added, “Throughout his career KAWS has embraced and redefined pop culture imagery to create new meaning and interactions with established works. Our collaboration will be another exciting entry in the Macy’s Parade’s Blue Sky Gallery series.”

The newest iteration of COMPANION by KAWS will debut on Thursday, Nov. 22 in front of more than 3.5 million spectators lining the streets of Manhattan and another 50 million viewers nationwide. With this debut the KAWS balloon joins an elite roster of artistic, flying wonders that have included works by Tom Otterness, Jeff Koons, Keith Haring, Takashi Murakami and Tim Burton.

In addition to the new balloon, KAWS will put his indelible twist on the creative advertising elements used to promote the Macy’s Parade. Through the prism of his unique aesthetic, KAWS will reinvent a multitude of balloons, floats and other Parade elements featured in the promotional art that is used on posters, advertising and on select merchandising.

The 86th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012 and is broadcast nationally on NBC-TV, from 9 a.m. to noon, in all time zones.

About KAWS:
The Brooklyn-based artist KAWS (Brian Donnelly) was born in New Jersey in 1974. His paintings, drawings, and sculpture have been widely exhibited at major museums and art galleries. He is internationally known also as a graphic artist and a creator of highly sought-after, limited-edition toys, apparel and other products. KAWS grew up in Jersey City, where he emerged as a graffiti artist in the early 1990s. He later studied at the School of Visual Arts (1993-1996), where he shifted his focus to creating public “interventions” by subverting imagery on billboards and advertisements in bus shelters and phone booths. This led to collaborations with commercial photographers and designers, resulting in original ads that have been extensively published. KAWS comfortably straddles the commercial and fine art worlds with his work, which ranges from graphic, product and industrial design to painting, drawings, sculpture, wall murals and silkscreen prints. Working in the historical continuum of Pop Art, his recent paintings present abstracted cartoon imagery, making reference to both popular culture and the history of modern painting. Alternating between figuration and abstraction, KAWS’s work reflects the chaotic nature of contemporary culture.

About Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®:
With more than 50 million viewers across the country and more than 3.5 million spectators lining up along the streets of New York City each year, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a national icon that has grown into a world-famous holiday event. For more than 80 years, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has marked the official start of the holiday season. Growing in size and scale, the Parade proudly marches down a more than two-mile route in New York City with over 8,000 participants in tow including Macy’s (NYSE:M) employees, their families, celebrities, athletes, clowns and dance groups, all spreading holiday cheer. Featuring fabulous floats and America’s best marching bands, the signature of the Parade continues to be the world-famous helium balloons. For more information on the Macy’s Parade please visit www.macys.com/parade or call the Parade hotline at (212) 494-4495.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50282425&lang=en

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:
Orlando Veras, 646-429-7450
Adam Abdalla, 212-228-5555

Source: Macy’s, Inc.