"Companion" -- a helium-filled version of the artist's popular sculpture depicting a downtrodden, Mickey Mouse-esque cartoon character -- was one of many balloons that made its way Thursday from New York's
KAWS, whose real name is Brian Donnelly, is a former cartoon animator who segued into street art in the late '90s. He has made animated figures a central motif of his creations. In recent years, he has found mainstream success with his playfully subversive sensibility.
His Thanksgiving balloon was reportedly 28 feet tall and 41 feet long. KAWS joins a short but growing list of contemporary artists whose works have been turned into Thanksgiving parade balloons. Artists who have contributed to the annual parade include Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons, Tom Otterness and the late Keith Haring.
KAWS was one of many street artists whose work was featured in last year's "Art in the Streets" exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.