Tokyo Damage Report

hello kitty birthday art show

monday august 9, 2004

KITTY EX art show. a big old art show commemorating kitty-chan’s 30th birthday.

oh, plus the art SUCKED.

I thought it was going to be a sort of retrospective, like a look at some of the real-life kitty-themed items that have been manufactured over the last 30 years. Like the famous vibrator, of course. But also the kitty paper-shredders and KITTY STAIR-MASTERS, and kitty taxicabs. ? and those all came out this millennium. There must be literally HUNDREDS of other items from the 80’s and 90’s that I don’t even know about; items that are just as insane, items which are long unavailable because the franchise licence expired. I thought it would be shit like that. Because no other character, even snoopy, has that much bat-shit crazy frahchised shit.

And this bat-shit crazy franchise-mania is more than just another ‘wacky pop culture oddity.’ In fact it is the secret of kitty. See, she has no mouth. No thumbs. She looks so powerless and incapable of doing anything by herself.. But she is ON everything, from toilet paper to cars and planes; from computers, to VCRs and silverware. Because she’s on every consumer product at once, she can actually do way MORE than you or i. So that is why she does not need a mouth or thumbs. WE, YOU AND I, ARE HER MOUTH AND THUMBS.

And this is the secret of kitty. Right now she is playing videotapes and driving around and giving a soothing ‘neck massage’ and holding money and credit cards, and toasting bread and sending email. . . all at once. . . for thousands of people!

I figured a museum exhibit of old items would be the perfect way to show the secret of kitty . . . But instead they got (yawn) artists and ‘designers’ (whatever that is) to do specially-commissioned kitty-themed artworks. And everyone did the same fucking idea: do a painting in their usual gimmicky one-note style, but slap a kitty head on there somewhere. Yeah, real original motherfuckers. They even had sonic youth do a ‘noise song’ about kitty. It’s like, if they asked you to do a song about snoopy you would have done the SAME EXACT THING except put snoopy’s head on there. It doesn’t address anything in particular about the character in question. Unoriginal cop-out motherfuckers.

The mass-market shit designed by the corporations and the hacks actually had to appeal to lots of buyers, so (compared to the artists) they were working with far more stringent limitations on what they could do. BUT they still got WAY more creative and fucked up than anything these fucking artists ever came up with…Jesus, ‘artists.’ Fuck you all. Have any of those so-called artists even heard about the stairmasters? Obviously not because then they would have just quit and given up.

There were like 3 good things though: the Hello De Milo sculpture, the KITTY UFO, and some lady that did kitty fake tattoos on your body while you wait. And the tattoos were all just bizarre reinterpretations of kitty , like a f-14 fighter jet with a big bow on its wing, called ‘kitty jet.’ On your elbow.

But most of the other art was just like one-line gags, like a mad magazine cover with Alfred e. neuman’s head on someone else’s body (kitty as venus demilo! kitty as a rennisance painting! kitty as graffiti!) , except mad charges like 2 bucks instead of a million. Ha ha. Someone should tell them that they are now ‘postmodern’ and therefore museum material. At the end the staff had the indignity to tell me, ‘you can’t go back in once you leave’ I was like, ‘dude, no problem. Because it was boring.’


the website for the show, however is pretty crazy and fun if you like flash animations, which i don’t. but then again, maybe you want to see the art? go here. and then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the link in japanese. the link is (hint, hint) right by the little button that says ‘macromedia flash: download here.’

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  1. Steve September 10th, 2009 1:42 pm

    This sort of relates: Former F-1 driver/current Nascar driver Juan Pablo Montoya built a Hello Kitty Go-Kart for his daughter.

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