18. SHARE at Rockefeller Center
Standing outside Rockefeller Center is SHARE, a brand new 18-foot-tall bronze sculpture on view through October 8, 2021. Created by renowned street artist KAWS, SHARE is made of two distinct pieces entitled COMPANION and BFF. The first part of the sculpture, COMPANION, has a Mickey Mouse-inspired appearance, bearing the character’s signature pants and shoes. However, rather than simply evoking a sense of happiness and childlike wonder that is commonly associated with the Disney star, COMPANION’s design has an underlying menacing theme. The “x” over the sculpture’s eyes — which are commonly used to connote death — evoke sentiments of fear and isolation. This is further amplified by the sculpture’s gray color and lack of smile. In contrast, BFF — a pink furry Elmo knockoff held between COMPANION’s hands — reminds viewers of the comfort they search for in their daily lives. SHARE is presented in tandem with KAWS’s other current exhibit, KAWS: What Party, located at the Brooklyn Museum until September 5, 2021.
As EB Kelly, Tishman Speyer’s managing director overseeing Rockefeller Center, stated: “KAWS has created a universal language for anyone who interacts with his instantly recognizable figures. KAWS’s work subverts expectations while feeling familiar and stylized, and having SHARE close our summer season of art at Rockefeller Center perfectly encapsulates our own commitment to contrast New York’s different cultures, styles, and energy.”