Bows Are So Hot Right Now: Dispatches from Hello Kitty for President and Decoy at The Fridge
Take it from me. Bows are going to be huge this season.
Yes, Hello Kitty, the Japanese cartoon character, has thrown her giant pink bow into the race. Cynics may note that, like Sarah Palin, Hello Kitty seems more interested in building her brand than seeking executive office. But what a brand it is. Kitty’s plump, minimalist face is intoxicating enough to attract small children, kooky teens, and Biz Markie. That’s some serious crossover appeal.
Regular folks can visit the Hello Kitty for President headquarters downtown through Nov. 6, and it’s definitely worth stopping by to pose with the candidate amid patriotic arches by Katie Balloons.
For a slightly edgier take on cute, check out the Decoy exhibit at the Fridge. It’s a small show primarily featuring three images, including a sad girl with an oversize bow in her hair (shown) and a print of Decoy herself, mourning the death of her friend (and fellow street artist) Dondi. The mood at the opening, however, was far from somber, as kids from Decoy’s after-school program hoisted giant nail-polish bottles and painted a mural on the outside of the gallery.
For the next month, the gallery will operate as a low-volume nail salon, with Decoy giving manicures for $30 a pop. (Though all reservations have been snatched up.) Also on sale: hoodies, T-shirts and, of course, enormous felt bows. The distinction between commercial and street art is often blurry, but to me, the Fridge's current exhibit seemed a bit closer to the former. Decoy, however, was unconcerned when I pointed out her exhibit’s similarities to the Hello Kitty’s pop-up store.
“Yeah, we should have coordinated,” she said. “It’d be like a bow explosion.”