SOURCE: Painter Marc Dennis

October 14, 2014 19:27 ET

Marc Dennis Painting Showcased at "Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty"

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 14, 2014) - Midlife eventually hits everyone, and the time has come for Hello Kitty. Believe it or not, the Japanese epitome of cuteness turns 40 this year, with a long career to celebrate as she has held hundreds of occupations -- from astronaut to doctor to ballerina -- yet always with her trademark hair bow perfectly in place over her left ear. Hello Kitty's creator, Sanrio, has officially licensed thousands of products through the decades -- from pencils and toothbrushes to toilet seats and waffle irons to even a full-sized Mitsubishi Mirage automobile and several Airbus A330-200 passenger planes. The Japanese American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles will present "Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty," the first ever large-scale Hello Kitty museum retrospective in the U.S. The show traces the history of the iconic figure through more than 500 special artifacts from the Sanrio archives along with contributions from 40 of the world's leading pop culture artists and designers, who have all created pieces inspired by Hello Kitty. The exhibit opened October 11, 2014 and runs until April 26, 2015.

Acclaimed U.S. contemporary artist Marc Dennis will be featured in the exhibition with his oil painting "The Allegory of the Apotheosis of Pleasure," measuring 46 x 52 inches. Represented with Hasted Kraeutler Gallery in New York City, Marc Dennis has earned a devoted following in the art world as a sharp satirist of contemporary culture. His work is in such demand that there's a waiting list, with prices ranging from $24,000 to $80,000. His paintings ooze contemporary irony and twisted charm, such as his well-known series of tableaus featuring Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders juxtaposed with famous works of art. His latest piece for "Hello!" is further social commentary, this time on the impact of Hello Kitty and broader culture: standing in front of a gilded portrait of the iconic cat is an unknown person, anonymous in a Hello Kitty-branded hoodie -- male or female, young or old? Any option is plausible.

"I'm proud to be part of this amazing exhibition, says Marc Dennis. "Hello Kitty is a major pop culture icon, maybe even the first global pop culture superstar, born in Japan and then loved by the world. I mean, first came Godzilla and then Hello Kitty!"

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