A Companion to bear our burdens.

'' COMPANION 2020 '' is a sculpture that I have been thinking about for several years. When I first created the character in 1999, I never imagined much of a future for it; it was mostly just an excuse to create my first editioned sculpture.

But over the past two decades, Companion has become something like a sibling, and it's taken on a life of its own.

This character, in its various iterations, has also become a way to communicate my thoughts and observations. Near the end of 2019, I wanted to create a work that would commemorate 20 years with Companion.

I arrived at the composition for '' Companion 2020 '' amid the early days of the pandemic in 2020, and its pose resonated with me. The character is lying face down on the ground and in the space above it  can feel the weight of everything that is on my mind.

I hope that viewers too, can release their own thoughts, anxieties and feelings into that space.

As much as the sculpture bears that burden, it also represents a much needed pause - a moment to recharge before getting back up and getting on with life.

'' Companion 2020 '' exists right at the juncture of what has happened over the past 20 years and what is to come. I think it's OK to acknowledge that, at times, we fell flat on our faces - and may continue to do so when confronting the challenges of 2020 that spilled into 2021.

But I find optimism in the idea that a brief pause, like Companion's, can be a way to build resilience before moving on.

The World Students Society thanks author KAWS, also known as Brian Donnelly, is an artist based in New York.


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