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09 Dec 2021

Virtual Insights: KAWS in Conversation

In celebration of the American Folk Art Museum’s 60th anniversary, noted artist, collector, and AFAM trustee KAWS joins Valérie Rousseau, Senior Curator of Self-Taught Art & Art Brut, for a closer look into the artist’s vivid interest in the work of self-taught artists. KAWS will reflect on both the impact these works have had on his creative practice and his favorite pieces from the Museum’s collection.

KAWS engages audiences beyond the museums and galleries in which he regularly exhibits. His prolific body of work straddles the worlds of art and design to include paintings, murals, graphic and product design, street art, and large-scale sculptures. Over the last two decades KAWS has built a successful career with work that consistently shows his formal agility as an artist, as well as his underlying wit, irreverence, and affection for our times. His refined graphic language revitalizes figuration with both big, bold gestures and playful intricacies.

Valérie Rousseau is Curatorial Chair for Exhibitions and Senior Curator of Self-Taught Art and Art Brut at the American Folk Art Museum. Since 2013, she has curated exhibitions on artists from various countries, including the AAMC’s award-winning When the Curtain Never Comes Down on performance art (2015), Art Brut in America: The Incursion of Jean Dubuffet (2015), and shows on Paa Joe (2019), William Van Genk (2014), Bill Traylor (2013), art brut photography (2019, 2021), and self-taught literature (2018). Rousseau holds a Ph.D. in art history from Université du Québec à Montréal and an MA in anthropology from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. She has authored various essays on arts emerging outside the art mainstream, from an international perspective, notably “Visionary Architectures” (The Alternative Guide to the Universe, Hayward Gallery, 2013), “Revealing Art Brut” (Culture & Musées, 2010), and Vestiges de l’indiscipline (Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2007).

Space is limited; advance registration is required. Please consider making a donation when you register to support ongoing virtual programming.

Instructions for joining with a Zoom link and password will be provided by email upon registration confirmation under “Additional Information.” Closed captioning will be provided in English. For questions or to request accessibility accommodations, please email

Images: KAWS, NEW TURN, 2020, Acrylic on canvas, 70 x 70 inches, Collection of Powerlong Art Museum, Shanghai, Photo: Farzad Owrang; Susan Te Kahurangi King, Untitled, c. 1965, Graphite and color pencil on paper, 11 x 9 inches, Collection of KAWS.

6:00 pm–7:00 pm

Online; free with registration