The KAWS: HOLIDAY World Tour Has Run Into Legal Trouble

“KAWS:HOLIDAY” art installation at Marina Bay in Singapore on November 14, 2021. ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images

The KAWS:Holiday showcase in Singapore has run into legal trouble, new reports indicate. Over the weekend, the non-profit arts organization The Ryan Foundation served a court order in an attempt to halt the exhibition, due to the fact that organizers of the event, AllRightsReserved, were being sued for breach of confidence and breach of intellectual property. According to these reports, an interim court conjunction had also been filed that ordered AllRightsReserved to halt all advertising and publicity around the exhibition, as well as refraining from selling exhibition merchandise. The Singapore Tourism Board is not affiliated with the lawsuit.

KAWS himself has deemed the allegations The Ryan Foundation is leveling against AllRightsReserved “baseless,” while AllRightsReserved has said that they are “in the process of seeking urgent legal advice and will apply to court to challenge the prohibitory injunction order.” Work by KAWS does always manages to capture huge amounts of attention because of the scale of his art, and also because of the enormous financial stakes that are usually involved.

The Ryan Foundation said that AllRightsReserved continued with the preview of the KAWS work “with music being played at the event, and with security and public relations personnel hosting and ushering invited guests into the venue, entirely disregarding the order of court.” The KAWS exhibition prominently features the artist’s Companion, a giant balloon that’s been on a world tour that was announced earlier this year. “It really will be an unexpected thing in the sky,” KAWS, whose real name is Brian Donnelly, told CNN earlier this year. “To have a work that suddenly interrupts your sight line for a few minutes, going through different cities in the world, is, for me, very exciting.” It remains to be seen how the legal issues will be resolved.