Kaws Redesigned The MTV VMA Moonman! Check Out Photos Of The Moonman’s Brooklyn Makeover!

kaws + moonman

New York artist Kaws redesigned the Moonman for the 2013 VMAs in Brooklyn.

The Brooklyn uniform can range from a romper if you’re the Lena Dunham type, all-black everything if you’re Jay-Z, a Coogi sweater, Starter fittie, or suspenders and an olde-tymey mustache that falls somewhere between “LOL/ JK” to “dead serious” on the irony spectrum. But if you’re the MTV Moonman, the new classic is a head-to-toe makeover by world-renown New York artist Kaws, known for his graffiti art and his coveted, highly collectable, instantly recognizable vinyl “Companion” figurines.

Kaws’ work’s been seen everywhere from the Jersey City entrance to the Holland Tunnel (Kaws got his start as a graffiti artist tagging and skating his way through the city) to Times Square, where his billboard featuring the artwork he designed for Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreaks album hung in 2008. His “Companion” figure and statues have traveled around the United States, to Tokyo and points east, west, and in between, endearing fans to his variations on a mysterious, fantastical figure that, for something that barely has facial features, expresses sorrow, embarrassment, confinement, and regret in a bittersweet commentary on commercialism, consumerism and the role pop art plays in both. (But enough about my Saturday night.)


moonman + companion 1Kaws’ “Companion (Passing Through)” next to his 2013 Moonman, both in his Brooklyn studio.

Kaws (Brian Donnelly) has been a Brooklyn resident for 13 years — and has had a cult following for even longer — and since this is the Moonman’s first trip to Kings County, after he gave the VMA logo a Brooklyn redesign, the artist gave the Moonman a top-to-bottom do-over, redesigning the famed statue into an unmistakable Kaws original, down to the “X”-ed, Mickey Mouse in mourning eyes, crossbones, a finger reduction (count them), and a fresh pair of shorts in a reimagined pop culture amalgam befitting the iconic pop show’s move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. This year’s VMA winners will be taking home a piece of music history, and they’ll also be taking home a piece of Brooklyn art.


moonman traditional and new casual

Original Moonman versus the Kaws Moonman.

+ Check out exclusive photos and video of Kaws’ redesigned Moonman, sketches, and photos from his studio in Brooklyn after the jump!


moonman base sketch

moonman original sketch

companion dissected 1

paint + companion

tools 2

vma_kaw_moonman

Cast your vote NOW for this year’s Video Music Award winners from the 2013 VMA Nominees. The 2013 Video Music Awards air August 25 on MTV and VMA.MTV.com, live from the Brooklyn Barclays Center. No sleep til Brooklyn!

Photo Credit: MTV