Appropriately, the room smelled like cotton candy during Will Cotton’s Cockaigne, a performance at Prince George Ballroom on Friday night. The audience arrived early to eat pink cotton candy made by about a dozen young women dressed as ballerinas. They washed it down with champagne. This is the kind of celebratory hedonism we have come to expect and appreciate from Mr. Cotton. It was the artist’s first live stage performance, and he had asked John Zorn to compose music and Charles Askegard to choreograph a dance, all inspired by the fluffy candy the audience was munching on. It was billed as a “short ballet.”
We did not know how short.Read More
It was a lively atmosphere on the 16th floor penthouse of the artsy Roger Smith hotel in midtown last Wednesday. Some 30 people had crammed into a small library and tucked themselves in behind white tablecloths to sip bourbon and watch the giant TV that had been set up at the front of the room. Read More
“The only thing that interested me was desire and pleasure,” said Will Cotton, the painter. We were sitting in the Core Club on 55th Street, where Mr. Cotton’s portrait of Katy Perry, Cupcake Katy, is on public view in the lobby. Mr. Cotton was talking about why he started painting hyper-realistic pictures of an apocalyptic Candyland.
“It was in the mid-’90s,” he said. “I was painting a lot of advertising icons like Twinky the Kid and the Pillsbury Dough Boy. I was really into finding a painting iconography that I could relate to. Candyland, the board game that many of us played as children growing up, that’s this place where it’s all about pleasure, all the time. That was the only story I wanted to tell.” Read More