What would Katy Perry look like as a cupcake queen? Artist Will Cotton answers that question with a portrait of the singer wearing a crinkly white dress (think cupcake wrapper) and lollipop-and-candy crown.
The image will debut June 18 at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
"Cupcake Katy" rules with a candy scepter, exuding power over her teen subjects that's not so different from staid portraits of ladies and queens who have ruled in the past.
Museum director Kim Sajet says the tongue-in-cheek representation carries a message about women and power.
"Katy Perry comes from an American tradition of strong women entertainers who have 'turned the tables' on their audiences by challenging the supposedly superficial representation of their pop personas," she said in a statement released Wednesday.
Those who remember the "California Gurls" video in 2010 (Cotton collaborated with her on that too) will recognize Perry playing the part of the sugary sweet queen of Candyfornia. The portrait, completed the same year, has a similar look and feel.
For the portrait, Cotton designed the dress made by New York fashion designer Cynthia Rowley and created the sweet sensation. "Cupcake Katy" will become part of the gallery's collection of influential women in the music industry, the museum says.