Katy Perry Takes Selfie with Will Cotton’s Portrait of Her at the NPG

Katy Perry selfie, Will Cotton, Cupcake Katy at the National Portriat Gallery
Katy Perry taking a selfie in front of Will Cotton's Cupcake Katy at the National Portrait Gallery.
Photo: Paul Morigi/AP Images for National Portrait Gallery.

We’re about to wade deep, deep into meta territory here. Pop star Katy Perry has collaborated with artist Will Cotton on a number of projects, from an album cover and a music video to a formal, large-scale portrait of the singer decked out in one of Cotton’s trademark confectionery costumes. That painting, Cupcake Katy (2010), is now on view at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in Washington, DC, where it is a promised gift from collector James Dicke (see artnet News report).

Perry, who has been in the US capital this week performing two concerts and meeting with vice-president Joe Biden and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, swung by the NPG—decked out in what looks like a Salvador Dali-inspired dress—to check in on her portrait, and take a selfie with it, the Washington Post reports.

katy-perry-in-npg

Will Cotton’s portrait of Katy Perry at the National Portrait Gallery.
Photo: Courtesy the National Portrait Gallery.

Tragically, the many-layered selfie—a self-portrait with portrait, if you will—has yet to appear on either of Perry’s preferred social media platforms, making the above AP photo the only documentation of this painfully postmodern incident. Or perhaps Perry has one-upped us all, taking inspiration from Bruce Nauman to enact an absurd, playful, and self-reflexive performance that persists only in photographic documentation.

Cupcake Katy will remain on view at the NPG through July 6.


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