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KAWS Companion Balloon At Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

KAWS’ iconic Companion character is joining the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year in the form of a 40-foot-long balloon. KAWS, real name Brian Donnelly, joins the ranks of Takashi Murakami, Tim Burton, Jeff Koons, and Tom Otterness.

“Companion has been a recurring character for me,” says Donnelly. In the past decade, it has been both a toy and a monumental sculpture. A 16-foot steel version went up in Hong Kong’s Harbour City in 2010 and, later, outside of New York’s Standard hotel. Painted gray, white and brown, the figure poses in a seated position, hunched slightly and covering its eyes. “I was thinking, God, if I had to sit there all day and have a million people pass me and stare, I’d be mortified,” says Donnelly. “That would be the worst experience ever. That’s where the pose came from.” A variation on that Companion will fly on Thanksgiving. “I think this is a first for the parade,” says Macy’s lead designer, John Piper, standing in a roomful of brightly colored clay prototypes at Macy’s 75,000-square-foot parade studio in New Jersey. “It’s the first time we’ve had a character that’s shy.” – New York Times

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