Katy Perry Will Hang in the National Portrait Gallery, Dressed As a Cupcake

Photo: Will Cotton/National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian

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.

Katy Perry Will Be in National Portrait Gallery