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Huge and Cartoonish, Sculpture Stops 30th St. Train Riders In Their Tracks

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(The KAWS sculpture in the main lobby of 30th Street Station.  Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(The KAWS sculpture in the main lobby of 30th Street Station. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Travelers were stopping in their tracks today to ponder the gigantic fiberglass sculpture unveiled this morning at 30th Street Station.

If Bozo and Minnie Mouse had a misunderstood son, he might look like this new sculpture at Amtrak’s 30th Street Station: brown and grey, sitting, holding his face in his gloved, three-fingered hands.

Commuters weren’t sure what to make of it.

“When I look at that, it’s kind of depressing, actually,” said one man.

“I don’t know — I’m actually afraid of clowns,” admitted a woman, “so I guess it scared me a little bit.”

The 16-foot-high creation is called Companion (Passing Through), and it’s the work of pop artist KAWS, born Brian Donnelly.

(The artist KAWS, a.k.a. Brian Donnelly.  Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(The artist KAWS, a.k.a. Brian Donnelly. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

“Not everything’s supposed to make you feel happy,” Donnelly (right) said today.  “I would hope that…  It makes me happy!  I feel like I can kind of relate to him sometimes.”

It’s a preview of a KAWS sculpture that will appear above the front door of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts this fall, according to PAFA director Harry Philbrick.

“Part of the magic of KAWS’ work is that it’s instantly recognizable — but not quite,” Philbrick says.

Companion will be at 30th Street Station until May 14th.

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