Who said art can only reside in museum walls? Merging between physical, virtual and augmented reality, the Serpentine Gallery takes a step forward giving us the opportunity to experience a multi-layered global exhibition. For this occasion, featuring the crowd-puller video game Fortnite in partnership with Acute Art and the recognised artist and designer Kaws, who brings up his first solo display in London titled New Fiction, until February 27.
For Brian Donnelly, most commonly known as Kaws, this exhibition has allowed him to experiment with augmented reality. And this is not the first time that the Brooklyn-based artist has collaborated with Fortnite; in October 2021 he also designed a rare skeleton companion outfit, a part of the collectibles which he originally released in 2007. However, he has also ventured into traditional art, as he has produced a limited edition print in collaboration with Serpentine. Kaws’ career has been highlighted by his capability to innovate and cross different artistic disciplines, blurring the limits of street art and museums.

Parallel to the vibrant and abstract canvas that the visitors can see on the exhibition, they will also be able to experience augmented reality through Acute Art’s app, which will show some of the figures that Kaws has created for this project. “This project will reach a larger and more diverse audience than any other exhibition I have curated. It marks the beginning of a new chapter of art living in parallel worlds and reaching local and global audiences simultaneously. I am thrilled to be involved in this unique collaboration. We have entered a new era!,” mentions Daniel Birnbaum, Artistic Director of Acute Art.

As we have seen in the past few years with Ariana Grande’s Rift Tour or Travis Scott concert, viewed by more than twelve million players, Fortnite smash-hit video game is reaching for the heights. For now, Kaw’s New Fiction will be the first real-world art display available virtually. This shows that the new trend of the metaverse is here to stay, creating a new and up-to-date artistic outline.
Kaws's augmented reality exhibition titled New Fiction, in collaboration with Fortnite, is available at London's Serpentine Gallery until February 27.
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KAWS: NEW FICTION in Fortnite. © Epic Games
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KAWS: NEW FICTION at Serpentine. MIRROR (2018), SLEEPLESS (2018), GETTING THE CALL (2018) AND WHAT PARTY (2020). © Jonty Wilde (courtesy KAWS).
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KAWS, SEEING, 2022, augmented reality sculpture at Serpentine North Gallery. Courtesy of KAWS and Acute Art.