New York artist Will Cotton, who recently made news as the artistic director for pop singer Katy Perry's California Gurls music video, is the first featured speaker in the 2010/11 ArtTalks series. Cotton is internationally recognized for his dreamy landscapes often composed of sugary desserts and idealized female figures.
Organized by the non-profit American Federation of Arts, Cotton's lecture will be held at Christie’s New York headquarters at 20 Rockfeller Plaza on September 21, at 6:30 p.m. A question-and-answer session and a wine reception will follow the ticketed event.
Drawing inspiration from diverse sources such as pin-ups and bakery windows, Cotton’s prints, canvases, and interactive projects explore the promise and possibility of gluttony, beauty, and desire. The convergence of indulgence and appetite has been a recurring theme in his work, and his art has long incorporated images of cotton candy, macaroons, peppermints, frosting, cakes, lollipops, marshmallows, and other sweet confections.
Cotton’s work is represented by Mary Boone Gallery in New York and by Daniel Templon in Paris. He has shown in group exhibitions at Kunsthalle Bielefeld, the Seattle Art Museum, the Flag Art Foundation, and the Columbus Museum of Art. Other projects have included a pop-up French bakery at Partners & Spade, New York, and a set of limited-edition pajamas designed for the 2009 Creative Time Slumber Party.
For the new Katy Perry video, which has 23 million views on Youtube, Cotton places the pop singer in an over-the-top sweets-filled setting styled in the manner of his popular art. His painting of the Perry for the album's cover (Teenage Dream) features her naked in a cloud of pink cotton candy.