Peachy! High Museum Readies KAWS Exhibition

With Dallas awash in Shepard Fairey murals, it’s time to get ready for the next stop on your Southern U.S. street art tour! Atlanta’s High Museum of Art is now putting the finishing touches on its major KAWS exhibition. Opening next Saturday, February 18, “KAWS: Down Time” will be the beloved Brooklyn artist (né Brian Donnelly)’s largest show of new work to date and offers visitors the opportunity to watch him paint a 22-foot-high, site-specific mural in the lobby. A jazzy 24-foot-long triptych will invigorate the museum’s atrium. Meanwhile, curator Michael Rooks has marshaled an impressive gallery installation highlighted by a grid of 27 tondo paintings, like the 2011 Sponge Bob-meets-a giant flower pillow canvas that in November set a new world auction record of $188,500 for the artist at Takashi Murakami‘s “New Day: Artists for Japan” charity sale at Christie’s. The auction took place just days before the High installed KAWS’s monumental 2010 sculpture “Companion” (pictured) on its piazza. “KAWS has created a new order of American Pop,” says Rooks, who joined the High in 2010 from New York’s Haunch of Venison gallery. “His work is uncannily familiar but foreign at the same time, like in a dream, and it unites the often distant worlds of fine art and youth culture.”