In my most recent “Hello Masterpiece” series, I juxtapose the popular character ‘Hello Kitty’ with famous images from art history. The paintings’ appeal as take-home, souvenir-sized objects, similar to postcards in a museum shop, reinforces their context as commodities in a market, and provides a satirical perspective on the paintings’ usual highbrow status.
’Hello Kitty’ tours art history, donning themed costumes to match elements of the famous paintings. I rely on her playful appeal to charm the viewer into looking, but her innocence stands in sharp contrast with the dark adult subject matter of the art historical piece. Her status as a toy and her obvious overlay on the image disrupt any illusion that she actually fits in the scene of the artwork. The resulting paintings become a clash of high and low culture, and a humorous commentary on the commoditization of art.