Photo: Wikimedia, CC
The Brooklyn-based artist Brian Donnelly — better known as “KAWS” — sent a balloon shaped like Mickey Mouse’s dead body down Broadway in New York during Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.The balloon’s official name is “Companion,” and it is based on a sculpture of a grey, seated figure with a skull for a head and crosses for eyes. The figure wears the familiar buttoned britches and shoes of Mickey Mouse. Aside from the shape of its ears, it is basically a dead version of Mickey Mouse.
In fact, Donnelly said “Companion” was based on Mickey Mouse when the scupture was exhibited at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Conn. He told the museum that “Companion” was a “take down” of Mickey:
KAWS introduced the famous Companion in 1999. The seven and three-quarter inch limited edition toy featured the signature KAWS inflated skull and crossbones, with a skinny-legged Mickey Mouse body. KAWS chose Mickey Mouse after a search for the most recognisable and international character in the cartoon world to “take down.” Since then, the Companion has grown in scale. The towering Companion (Passing Through) presents the iconic figure sitting down with both gloved hands covering its face.
When the balloon reached Macy’s in Herald Square, the NBC morning commentators — Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker — had little to say about it.
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