Art.sy Insight: Will Cotton and Katy Perry

Will Cotton has collaborated extensively with pop singer Katy Perry. Perry commissioned a nude portrait for the album cover of Teenage Dream, and Cotton served as art director for her “California Gurls” music video. For one of the portraits Cotton painted of Perry, he was inspired by cupcake foils and had a cupcake dress fabricated by designer Cynthia Rowley. "Because of the way I paint, I had to find a way to make them exist. For the dress that Katy Perry [posed in], I took shiny foil cupcake papers. I was over at [designer] Cynthia Rowley’s house, and she has daughters, and they have Barbie dolls. So I cut out the cupcake papers and I put them on a Barbie, and I said, ‘Cynthia, could you possibly make this dress? I would love to paint someone wearing this.’ At that time, I was starting to communicate with Katy, but I wasn’t sure I was going to paint her. So I said, ‘Let’s just make this thing, I don’t know who’s going to wear it yet, but we’ll see what happens.’ As soon I found out Katy was going to come to the studio, I called up Cynthia with Katy’s measurements, and said ‘can you make it to fit this person?’ And she brought it over the day Katy came to pose, and finished sewing it right onto her."

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