Middle school in the late 90s in San Francisco was a mix of North Face jackets, Mase’s “Been Around the World” and Sanrio. Sitting at your desk in 7th grade, look to your left and you’d see a Badtz-Maru folder, and to your right a My Melody pencil case–Sanrio was everywhere the golden days of my youth. My favorite character was always Keroppi, the cheerful frog beloved by tomboys everywhere. It’s hard to believe it’s been a good 10 or so years since those Sanrio days, and even harder to believe that the too-cute-for-words characters have been around for thirty-five years now! But thirty-five years it has been, and Sanrio is celebrating it’s influence over the last nearly four decades with a comprehensive three-week exhibit set to take over the Royal/T cafe/shop/art space in Culver City, CA called the Three Apples exhibit. A retrospective including art, products, events and a massive pop-up shop, Three Apples will feature the work of over 80 artists who have been directly influenced by the several Sanrio characters. Modern multimedia artists such as Gary Basemen, Ron English, Buff Monster and Camilla d’Errico will display their “kawaii”-inspired (for those of you who aren’t in the know, “kawaii” is the word the Japanese use to describe the “cute characters” that Sanrio has created) artwork in the exhibit, which was curated by Jamie Rivadeneira.
Not only will the exhibit feature amazing paintings and other artwork, but it will also include an installation devoted entirely to the last 35 years of Hello Kitty products. Look hard and you’ll spot some amazing pieces, including oodles of hot vintage Hello Kitty items that were actually contributed by M.I.S.S Crew’s very own Busy Lady, Liz Baca! Our resident vintage queen (and one of M.I.S.S’s co-founders), Liz graciously provided her vintage Hello Kitty collection to the Three Apples exhibit for display. A vintage crusader who always gets The Goods, Liz’s pieces are some of the rarest and cutest around– “Kawaii”, for sure. I’d like to think there’s a Keroppi pencil-case circa 1997 with my name on it somewhere in that collection…
If you’re in Culver City, make sure to check out the Three Apples exhibit, which runs from October 23rd to November 15th.
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