Continuing to captivate the world with her kawaii cuteness, Hello Kitty is the focus of the new hardcover collectible book Hello Kitty, Hello Art!. The book features more than 200 full color pages of Hello Kitty and her Sanrio friends My Melody, Keroppi, Badtz-Maru, Little Twin Stars, Tuxedosam and Chococat, including art from Sanrio’s 50th anniversary celebration, Small Gift, and Hello Kitty’s 35th birthday.
Many artists have been drawn to Japan’s favorite feline over the years, finding fun in the opportunity to collaborate with Sanrio or create pieces of art for the thematic gallery shows. “Hello Kitty says a lot about popular culture today even without a mouth,” suggests Gary Baseman, who has created several Hello Kitty themed images. “Sanrio seems to have a natural ability to remain young and playful as its own characters, embracing fully current trends in fashion, product design, and art. When your product is youthful, it is important to remain youthful too.”
Curated by Roger Gastman, “Hello Kitty, Hello Art!” represents an impressive range of hundreds of artists. “It wasn’t easy!” Gastman says about organizing the images in the book. “I wanted to do my best to pick a good mix of artists from the toy world, fine art world, street art and graffiti world, and, of course the art world. I also wanted to make sure to represent as many of the different Sanrio characters as I could.”
The alphabetical catalogue of Hello Kitty’s sweet persona runs the gamut from rock ‘n’ roll references to graffiti montages. “The most surprising thing I have seen with the artwork where we have worked direct with Sanrio is The Risk collar with the Rolling Stones tongue,” says Gastman. “It is just so perfect I don’t know why it hasn’t been done a 100 times over,” said Gastman. “Also any of the work POSE has done. All of the Sanrio characters just fit his style so well—its like they were made for each other.”
Coinciding with the book launch is an art exhibition of mixed media works from the collection during a one-day-only event at LA’s KNOWN Gallery on 14 October, with exclusive T-shirts and limited edition prints available. “Hello Kitty, Hello Art!” is available to purchase directly from Sanrio for $35.
What do you think of Hello Kitty?