The arrival of the artwork ‘Small Lie’ at Hamad International Airport (HIA) by American artist KAWS, sealed its reputation as one of the most ‘artsy’ airport terminals in the world.
HIA currently houses more than 20 permanent pieces by renowned local and international artists including the ‘Lamp Bear’ by Swiss-born artist Urs Fischer, which has been for a while, the face of HIA, as no traveller passes through the terminal without that signature picture by the iconic artwork.
1. KAWS is the fourth American artist to be given a space in HIA, following Keith Haring (Untitled, 1987), Tom Otterness (Other Worlds, 2012), and Bill Viola (The Crossroads, 2016).
2. Small Lie is the tallest artwork that KAWS has made so far. Standing at 32 feet tall, it weighs 17 tonnes and is made from Afrormosia wood, more commonly known as African Teak wood.
3. This is the first time that KAWS is exhibiting his artwork inside an airport terminal. Small Lie was also exhibited outdoors, at Yorkshire Park in the UK in 2016, and at the 2014 Frieze Sculpture Park.
4. A small version of Small Lie (28 cm) is available in three colours – black, grey and brown.
5. KAWS, whose real name is Brian Donnelly, started doing graffiti before high school. He started calling himself KAWS because the letters ‘sort of come together’ but the word, according to him, doesn’t really mean anything.
6. KAWS has a wide collection of art pieces in his home in Brooklyn, New York. He said it’s refreshing to be surrounded by art created by other artists.
Blueprint / How KAWS became the face of Contemporary Art