Very appropriate, don’t you think? I don’t know if it was premonition, coincidence or maybe just acknowledgment of a status quo. “Companionship in the Age of Loneliness” is the name of a recent NGV exhibition of the American artist Brian Donnelly (or KAWS). You are right to think that it’s old news, yes, the exhibition ended a few months ago, but the title and the message behind it couldn’t be more valid today. As an interior stylist I had to get my hands on some of the Kaws merchandise, like this poster. And not because it’s trendy (there will be a post about trends soon, watch this space!), but because I love the concept and the message behind it.
You may not know his name but you would have seen online or in real life Brian Donnelly’s oversized sculptures and paintings featuring well-known characters from cartoons or pop culture, with X-s drawn across their eyes. Despite their size, these characters are vulnerable and fragile. There is humour and sadness in them, there is hopelessness and hope. They show the need for compassion and support, togetherness and generosity in these times of solitude, isolation and estrangement.
Because there has probably never been a better time to talk about loneliness. And togetherness.