The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., home of stately paintings of people’s faces, will now include the face of human rainbow-sprinkle Katy Perry.
Kim Sajet, director of the Portrait Gallery, said many words of explanation about the painting:
Katy Perry comes from an American tradition of strong women entertainers who have ‘turned the tables’ on their audiences by challenging the supposedly superficial representation of their pop personas. On a closer look, they are complex figures: musically powerful, visually alluring and business savvy. Will Cotton’s tongue-in-cheek portrait of Katy as a ‘cupcake’ brings to mind a traditional European portrait of a bewitching 18th-century belle — Madame de Pompadour perhaps? — butter melts in neither of their mouths. Sweet but no mere piece of ‘candy,’ the woman is accessorized but not labeled: she’s the one in control.
Verifiably, that is a mouth that couldn’t melt butter even if it asked very nicely. Anyway, the Will Cotton painting, entitled Cupcake Perry, will hang in the gallery beginning June 18.