On 3 May 2012 the Mary Boone Gallery will open at its Fifth Avenue location an exhibition of new paintings and sculpture by Will Cotton.
Conjuring his signature land of plentiful sweets, for the touchstone of this group of new works the Artist depicts Katy Perry (Cotton served as Artistic Director for her 2010 California Gurls music video) as the reluctant queen of an imagined Utopia. In Crown, she stands before a palisade of pastel cakes, holding the headpiece as if wary of its obligations and consequences, realizing that a reign of opulence and profusion will inevitably conclude in decline and decay.
Cotton evokes the memory of a time before this awareness in Candy Forest, an idyllic landscape that merits bright color but is instead painted in the monochromatic palette of an old sepia photograph. Yet even in that distant past this Utopia harbored an underside - a truth underscored in the paintings Landfill and Trash Pile. Here, doughnuts, pastry, and tarts are nothing but layers in a garbage heap, their allure diminished in a realm of infinite riches.
An installation of sculpture - modeled from cakes that Cotton baked and decorated, then cast in plaster - echoes the theme of discarded abundance. These symbols of celebration and sustenance, ossified and drained of color, become cultural relics.
The exhibition, at 745 Fifth Avenue, will be on view through 30 June 2012.