Kaws at Fortnite!

This is the first exhibition on Fortnite: American artist Kaws installed his pop paintings and colorful sculptures on Tuesday at the Serpentine Gallery and in the virtual replica of the London museum in the video game with hundreds of millions of followers. Amid the frosty lawns of Hyde Park in central London, onlookers aim their phones at the roof of the Serpentine Gallery. Do they picture the building with red bricks and white columns? Not at all! Thanks to their laptop, they make appear in augmented reality a large sculpture of a blue man sitting on the roof, invisible to the naked eye. From the entrance, the sculpture of New Yorker Kaws sets the tone: virtual and reality intertwine throughout the Kaws: New Fiction exhibition. It is indeed composed of "three layers, " explains the artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist to AFP. "There is the physical exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery with paintings and sculptures. There are the augmented reality elements, and there is the Serpentine Gallery on Fortnite", one of the most popular video games globally. For a week, the 400 million followers of the Epic Games phenomenon have access to a faithful replica of the museum in the game, to walk around with their avatar and contemplate the works. An audience "twice as large as that of the Venice Biennale" Epic Games has already collaborated similarly with internationally renowned singers who have come to give concerts in the game. "But this is the first time Fortnite has collaborated with the visual arts, with a public gallery", welcomes Ulrich Obrist. He considers it "very different" to see an exhibition in a game or physically, but thinks these experiences are "complementary": many visitors are not familiar with the world of video games. Therefore, they could be interested in it, and vice versa -versa for gamers. "For us, it's about reaching very different audiences," creating "a trans-generational dialogue", adds the artistic director. Especially since this project will "reach an audience that is probably ten times larger than that of the Venice Biennale" , says the curator of the exhibition Daniel Birnbaum. Indeed, "the average age of Fortnite players", trendy among teenagers, "is much younger than that of an average visitor to a museum", underlines Hans Ulrich Obrist, who "hopes that a whole new generation will thus come to the gallery." Make works more accessible. For the artist too, Brian Donnelly, whose real name is, the interest lies in making his works more accessible. "What interests me is knowing that a child can see my work in India as in London," the 47-year-old painter and sculptor told AFP. "It's fascinating. A large community will suddenly be able to go to the museum, see these paintings and sculptures", welcomes the ex-graffiti artist turned plastic artist. "I think for some kids, this will be the first time they feel comfortable, in their comfort zone, inside an exhibit." Its stylized skull characters, which have already toured the world with giant installations or derivative products, should be able to seduce young Fortnite audiences with their pop, accessible and colorful side. Kaws, whose second collaboration with Fortnite, explains that his works will be exhibited in the "creative hub", a specific mode of the game far from the parts where players compete to be the last survivor. "There will be no shooting in the exhibition," he jokes, praising a community "different from what we think." As to whether adrenaline-loving players will really stop to contemplate his works in the game, "it's hard to say", concedes the artist, without defeatism: "If you bring an eleven-year-old child into a traditional museum, you don't know if he's going to look at the works. It's no different." Seen in France Info Culture
How Kaws became a major contemporary artist Kaws at Fortnite

Kaws at Fortnite!

This is the first exhibition on Fortnite: American artist Kaws installed his pop paintings and colorful sculptures on Tuesday at the...