Brooklyn-based artist KAWS attended the official unveiling of his large-scale sculpture titled “WAITING” on Monday at “The Greenpoint” development at the India Street waterfront.
The bronze “Companion figures” stand over 20-feet tall and face the East River in front of the newly opened building at 21 India St., one of the fastest-selling condo buildings in NYC this year with 63 units sold at a median price of $1,535,456, according to the NY Times.
KAWS is the moniker of Brooklyn-based artist Brian Donnelly, who over the past decade has achieved global recognition for his creations that often reinterpret pop culture icons like Mickey Mouse and Cookie Monster.
Architectural Digest caught up with Donnely ahead of Monday’s unveiling and he revealed that he used to live in Greenpoint a few blocks away from the new sculpture:
Because KAWS is based in North Brooklyn, he was a compelling choice for this waterfront location, according to Mack Real Estate Group, the developers of the project. KAWS found inspiration from this proximity, as well.
“When I was invited to do this commission, I was living a few blocks from the site,” he tells AD. “My wife was often taking the ferry, and I was imagining going to wait for her to arrive. That’s where the title WAITING came from. I was inspired thinking about the many people from all walks of life getting on and off the ferry passing the sculpture.”
He adds, “I hope when people pass the sculpture, it takes them out of their routine commute and leads them to new thoughts and puts them in touch with their surroundings in a new way.”
The developers hope the unique sculpture helps to bring the community together. “Public art can become a unique focal point for a community, drawing people together through moments of shared enjoyment and thought-provoking discussion,” Richard Mack, CEO & co-founder of Mack Real Estate Group, tells AD. “WAITING has great potential to provide that for the Greenpoint and for Greenpoint more broadly, and we continue to seek opportunities for thoughtful art installations in our properties.”
Asked how this piece is different than previous works, KAWS says it’s the location. “It’s the first public work that I could visit on a lunch break,” he tells us. “I love knowing it’s only a few blocks from my studio.”