Monday, November 7, 2011

Artist Will Cotton

You may have never heard of him, but you've probably seen his work. Will Cotton is an amazing painter who creates still lifes and landscapes from candy and confections. He was the creative director behind Katy Perry's "California Gurls" music video, and designed the cover of her "Teenage Dream" album.

What's amazing about his work is that he creates these elaborate scenes in his studio, and then painstakingly paints them with photo-realistic detail. He could just take a picture and call it day, and a photograph would be enough to make these images amazing (the Katy Perry album cover is a photograph). But the fact that he takes the time to paint these scenes really earns my respect.

I love his mastery over texture, which the paint medium probably adds to (visually is there much difference between a dollop of icing and a dollop of paint?). I imagine how hard it is to paint an ice cream cone as it melts. His paintings really are "landscapes". It's one thing to paint a still life with candy, it's another thing to turn those candies into trees and rivers and cliffs.

In an installation of his work in New York City he set up a temporary bakery that offered sweets like macaroons to viewers. What an amazing experience that must have been!

This statement from Cotton sums it up: "These paintings are all about a very specific place. It's a utopia where all desire is fulfilled all the time, meaning ultimately that there can be no desire, as there is no desire without lack."

To see more of his work please visit

1 comment:

  1. I've never knew about him but his art is awesome!