40 Artists Create New Works for Hello Kitty Retrospective

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Simone Legno, Kittypatra (2014), in "Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty."
Photo: Courtesy Cool Hunting.
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Colin Christian's cyborg in "Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty."
Photo: Courtesy Cool Hunting.
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Eimi Takano's mixed media installation in "Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty."
Photo: Courtesy Cool Hunting.
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Brandi Milne's painting in "Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty."
Photo: Courtesy Cool Hunting.
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Gary Baseman, Play Date (2014).
Photo: Courtesy Cool Hunting.
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Rhinestoned artwork in "Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty."
Photo: Courtesy Cool Hunting.

The opening of the first ever Hello Kitty retrospective at the Japanese American Museum is just one day away (see “Los Angeles Museum Hosts Hello Kitty Retrospective“). What can mega-fans and curious attendees expect, besides the usual Hello Kitty merchandise? Thanks to the Los Angeles Times and Cool Hunting, we have an idea of what artists have been cooking up for the icon’s 40th anniversary.

There will be a special part of the exhibition dedicated to showing off Hello Kitty’s versatility as a muse for artists. Some 40 new works of art made including paintings, drawings, ceramics, animations, textiles, photography, and wood will offer fresh interpretation of Hello Kitty’s world.

Colin Christian created a pink and white cyborg Hello Kitty, while Michael Courville made the shape of Hello Kitty’s face out of vintage flower pins. Eimi Takano, who specializes in creating the ultimate “kawaii” charaters, will also have a mixed-media tribute to her “childhood friend.”

Brandi Milne’s painting depicts Hello Kitty wearing a giant heart headband behind her classic red bow amid a party scene filled with cake, candy, and balloons. “I was really drawn to the character design. Something about it really spoke to me as a kid, and I found similar design elements in my own work as it developed through the years,” Milne tells Cool Hunting.

In Gary Baseman’s Play Date, the artist not only painted the famed Kitty and her other Sanrio friends in a landscape illustration, but he also incorporated his own original creatures, Toby, Chou, and Ahwroo.

Other wildly kitschy but oh-so-cute objets d’art are Tokidoki’s 10-foot-tall statue, which creator Simone Legno calls, Kittypatra, as well as a rhinestone covered pack of Haribo-esque Hello Kitty gummy bears.

Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty” opens October 11 and runs though April 26, 2015 at the Japanese American  National Museum.


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