Artist Will Cotton bringing paintings of Katy Perry to L.A.


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Some artists find inspiration in pop singers: Andy Warhol replicated Elvis Presley in silkscreens; Jeff Koons immortalized Michael Jackson in porcelain sculptures; and Jim Dine collaborated with the Beatles.

For New York-based artist Will Cotton, the pop muse appears to be Katy Perry, the 26-year-old singer-songwriter (and wife of Russell Brand) whose albums include ‘Teenage Dream’ and ‘One of the Boys.’


Cotton, who is known for his brightly colored paintings that often feature pastries and other forms of sweets, will be presenting new work in a solo show at L.A.’s Michael Kohn Gallery, running Jan. 14 to Feb. 26. The exhibition will feature some of Cotton’s recent paintings of landscapes that incorporate the human form, said the gallery.

As part of the show, Cotton will display several paintings of Perry. The artist has worked with Perry on several occasions, most notably as the artistic director of her music video ‘California Gurls.’ In addition, Cotton’s painting of Perry depicting the singer on a cloud of cotton-candy-like tufts served as the cover art for ‘Teenage Dream’ (pictured above).

Earlier this year, Cotton appeared on an episode of the Bravo reality series ‘Work of Art.’ He served as a guest judge for a competition in which the contestants had to address their memories of childhood using only the materials found in New York’s Children’s Museum of the Arts.

The Michael Kohn Gallery said the artist’s new work brought together ‘portraiture, landscape painting, decadent fashion and Cotton’s interest in the role of bodily decoration as a signifier of status and taste.’ Images of the new work were not immediately available from the gallery.

Here’s Cotton’s video for ‘California Gurls,’ featuring Perry and Snoop Dogg.

-- David Ng

[Updated: a previous version of this post stated that Cotton was the director of the video ‘California Gurls.’ He was, in fact, the artistic director of the video.]


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