Will Cotton - Modern Painters

New York painter Will Cotton hasn't lost his sweet tooth. In his most recent paintings and drawings, Cotton's predilection for situating female nudes in settings fashioned from candy and frosted cake leads to dream-like reveries. That Double as both childhood fantasies and formal meditations on beauty. His large scale oils on linen are feather-light and his smaller chalk-on-paper sketches are solid and heavy objects; but overall he seems inspired by Freud's pleasure principle in producing these objects of the id's desire. Cotton's work is in line with theories of subconscious expression, especially if by pleasure one means beauty. Though he can go to far for his relish for the sickly sweet, and the sumptuous visual richness he concocts can be nearly unbearable in works like Spumoni Stream (2005), for the most part Cotton's art is intelligent and complex to a degree that transcends the trap of empty calories.

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