For those of you that aren't Hello Kitty® superfans, the title Three Apples refers the precise weight of the iconic character as listed in her bio. It's also the title of a current exhibition celebrating Hello Kitty's 35th Anniversary. Hosted by the massive, Harajuku-themed gallery and café Royal/T, Three Apples celebrates all things Hello Kitty through a retrospective and reinterpretation of the character by a variety of contemporary, cutting edge artists. I was flattered to receive an invitation to participate from curator Jamie Rivadeneira.
Hello Kitty sat on my desk for a few weeks while I took some time to work on other projects and brainstorm my piece for the show. I had hoped to organically find her character and subsequently a scene to place her in, but instead I came to release the lasting power of the character. She is almost without identity, free of concrete association. Truly an icon for the time, she is a totem and emblem of kinship for devotees of cute. With this realization, it was easy to take another step and cast Hello Kitty not just as a revered symbol, but also as a god.
Young Julia Coburn is seen in a desperate (albeit cute) state, floating away under a canopy of balloons. As Hello Kitty looks on, it's purposely unclear as to what role she plays...or will play in Julia's survival.
The response to Three Apples has been beyond amazing. Thousands of people have come through the gallery, often lining up around the block. There's a fun event coming up this weekend that should be a notch or two calmer than the celebrity-filled opening a few weeks ago. The artists have been invited for a meet-and-greet with the public, all the while creating a collaborative painting for charity. My brush skills are a little lacking, but I'll definitely be there to support my peers and meet the fans.
I hope to see you there, but beforehand is another extremely fun event that I'll be attending along with good friend and fellow artist Lili Chin. A few years ago, Lili and I collaborated on the Ginchy series of Mimobot designer flash drives. In celebration of Mimobot's pop-up shop at Munky King on Melrose, they will be offering the very last of the long sold out Ginchy series. Lili and I will be on hand for a signing Thursday, November 5th from 8-10pm.
Hope you enjoy,
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