12th March 2020 – (Hong Kong) KAWS whose real name is Brian Donnelly, has partnered with the VR and AR production house Acute Art to create public exhibition of a dozen monumental augmented reality sculptures in multiple cities—as well as the drop of two AR sculpture editions that are available for purchase on Acute Art’s new app. According to Artnet, the public exhibition, titled “COMPANION (EXPANDED),” will run for two weeks, from March 12 through March 26, in cities including New York, Qatar, Hong Kong and Tokyo. The sculptures—which feature KAWS’s companion figure floating in the sky, covering its face—will be visible through Acute Art’s app, which is free to download.
The project also has a commercial component that could set a precedent for how to market AR art. KAWS is offering a variety of ways to buy a piece of the project. The first is an edition, called “COMPANION (EXPANDED),” of 25 nearly six-foot-tall AR sculptures that will be available to buy together for US$10,000 on the Acute Art website. Collectors will be able to place the sculptures wherever they want using the app, and can choose whether to keep them private or make them publicly visible to others who use the app.
The second collectable element, called “AT THIS TIME (EXPANDED),” presents an alternative model for commercializing this kind of artwork. It is an open edition of 1.5-foot-tall AR sculptures that are available in three colors and can be bought on the app for a period of seven or 30 days at a time. These will be priced at US$6.99 for one sculpture for seven days or US$29.99 for all three sculptures for 30 days.