Well, that explains everything.
First, I am THRILLED that someone commented!!!! And they aren't even related to me or anything! WOOOO.....I have actual readers out there in the world, and someone took the time to write me back! I am ecstatic!
Next, I'm a little embarrassed that I clearly should have done more thorough research. When I set out to write the original blog post after having seen the video, I looked around the primary sites for the video itself. However, I specifically did not read any other blogs or in depth commentary (other than the comments posted on Katy Perry's site and YouTube), because I wanted to get out what I had to say before I started taking in other commentary. Granted, this makes me a totally lame journalist - but the good news is I never claimed to be one in the first place!
Nevertheless, my opinion of the video, largely, still stands. Somehow I'm even MORE disappointed that Will Cotton himself was involved - I've always found his work to have more soul than the video suggests. His paintings are beautiful, sensitive and transportive, but I felt the video was just tacky - Cotton knocking-off his own work. Like trading in a velvety Chevre for a vat of nacho cheese.
Screen shot from "California Gurls"
It brings to mind, once again, the abomination that was Jean Paul Gautier's "collection" for Target. Where once was a sensitive, inspired artistic statement now stands a cheap, watered-down imitation for mass market.
Photograph by Erik Madigan Heck
I found a good article about the making of the video and Cotton's involvement with it. The artist gives his thoughts on the project:
“I'm delighted that my paintings are the inspiration for this video. My work is about creating a utopia where all desire is fulfilled all the time, but where pleasure and delight can turn dark and dystopic. Katy embodies the archetypes that I look for in a subject. It was thrilling to work with her and to see her inhabit my landscapes.”
I'm surprised that he would take such a view. It's startling to me that he feels that this silly pop video reflects AT ALL the mood of his paintings. And I can't imagine how Ms. Perry "embodies the archetypes" of his ideal subject. The women he paints, to me, are beautiful in part because of their vulnerability and natural softness, while Katy Perry has carefully constructed an image of pop plasticity - fake nails, neon wigs, latex dresses. Which is fun, and a great gig for a pop star, but not at all what I think of when I imagine meeting one of Will Cotton's models on the street.
Will Cotton "ICE CREAM CAVERN (2)" 2003 Oil on Linen, 60" x 50"
Are these girls anything alike???
It's good to know that Will Cotton's work wasn't used without permisson.....I can't imagine how it would feel for an artist to have poured so much love into developing an idea, only to see it watered-down and credited to someone else. But the contrast between his paintings and "California Gurls" is so stark that it makes me sad that he would willingly lend his name to it.