The Cute-Little-Red-Headed Girlfriend and I have the flu, so we haven't been going out very much lately. Because we've been hunkered down, which we missed the start of the Hello Kitty 35th Anniversary Exhibition happening at Royal/T Artspace. It's a three week long event commemorating Hello Kitty's birthday on--mark the date--November 1. It seems Hello Kitty is 35, which means I must be 102.
I wish I could have gone to the VIP Gala opening event, so that I could causally drop it into conversation. "You were at the L.A. Opera last night? No, I couldn't attend. I was at the Hello Kitty VIP Gala." Although I couldn't attend the opening, I have been able to see much of the artwork online.
Among the pieces I particularly like are the figure pictured above, which shows Hello Kitty wearing a toasted marshmallow costume. I thought it was very appropriate for Halloween. It's actually part of a series of figures depicting Hello Kitty in various marshmallow regalia. You can view more here. I also like the below portrait of the Bigfoot family showing the heartwarming role Hello Kitty plays in their lives.
The first time I encountered Hello Kitty merchandise was in a department store. I remember being confused by it because I didn't know where the character originated from. I thought I must have missed some new cultural manifestation, like a series of Hello Kitty children's books, or a Hello Kitty animated television show--something that gave birth to the character. It took me awhile to understand that Hello Kitty exists purely in reference to her own merchandise.