FriendsWithYou | USA | "Super Star" | 2008 | 83 cm x 114 cm | Watercolour gouache, coloured pencils on watercoloured paper

The Miami-based art collective FriendsWithYou, founded in 2002 by Samuel Albert Borkson (b. 1979) and Arturo Sandoval III (b. 1976), first came to attention with its lovingly designed toy figures, individual characters or personas made of wood or plush, presented in small series as “Friends”. With the slogan “Magic, Luck and Friendship” and the goals to encourage social interaction among people and develop new types of harmonious interpersonal relationships, FriendsWithYou has made it its mission to reinterpret religious symbols and traditions with a playful and accessible approach. This includes processions of gigantic, gaily coloured flying sculptures, as well as all kinds of toy amulets in a reduced visual concept, intended to whisk their owners away into a magic world and stimulate them to engage in light-hearted play and free associations. In addition to these art objects, large-format sculptures, elaborate installations, fun performances, animations, paintings and printed creations define the oeuvre of this collective, which additionally disseminates its cheerful message through the design of playgrounds.