Finally, there's an art show for people who get stoned and watch Kedi or sell their belongings to pay their pet's medical bills. Searching for the purrfect meowsterpiece to spice up your catchelor pad? (Sorry.) Look no further than The Cat Art Show, the world’s largest art biennial devoted to feline beauty.
The Cat Art Show is an homage to famous cat-loving artists like Gustav Klimt, Andy Warhol, Leonor Fini, and Helmet Newton. Mutual love and admiration for cats is the only thing that brings together the third edition of The Cat Art Show’s more than 100 wildly diverse artists. Visitors will wander from a goofy photo of a cat in a devil costume—Paul Koudonaris’ Mewcifer—to Rose Freymuth-Frazier’s insanely detailed painting of a cat smashing a tiny Donald Trump doll.
The show's curator is Susan Michals, a former journalist whose cultural reporting can be found in Vanity Fair, ArtNet News, and the New York Observer. She loves cats more than anything. “Cats keep you on your toes. One minute they can be aloof, and the next moment they can’t get enough of you. They are beautiful in their sinewy form and they amaze in their slinkiness; they have the magical ability to get in and out of spaces better than Criss Angel!” she told VICE. “I’ve been around cats since I was a child and as an adult have had two—Kittyman, and currently Miss Kitty Pretty Girl. She’s my muse.” After the first Cat Art Show in 2014, which included art by Tracy Emin and Shepard Fairey, she went on to found the bacchanal of internet-famous cats that is CatCon.
This year's roster includes well-known painters like Mark Ryden and Devan Shimoyama, photographers like David Bowie’s friend Mick Rock, and sculptors like Annie Montgomerie. Hovering between pop culture and fine art, the work is off-kilter and weird in the same way cats are. Think an eye-popping portrait of cats as sushi rolls or a cat-themed ode to Tupac’s All Eyez On Me. There will also be a soothing light and sound installation called Purrvana.
New York-based artist Tiffany Sage’s contribution to the show is a tongue-in-cheek self-portrait called Apollo and Garfield. She's dressed as the cynical cartoon feline and shares an earnest, affectionate moment with her own orange cat. Sage told VICE she sees The Cat Art Show as an important piece in the puzzle of humankind's relationship with the animal kingdom. "A large part of the history of visual art everywhere in the world has depicted animals,” she said. “They mean so much to us it would be strange if they weren't in our art and that hasn't changed. This show is a recognition of that.”
Celebrity photographer Tasya van Ree, known for her photos of muse Amber Heard, was inspired by the feline psyche in her new work, Ordinary Passions. She told VICE it, “Represents a many-leveled dream sequence in a cat’s unconscious mind.”
“This show has a deep-rooted sense of profound compassion and is an integral part of the bigger picture in its conquest to save/help the lives of the less fortunate,” van Ree adds. Her Freudian concept will share a space with Witchsy founder Penelope Gazin's pinup-style painting woman wearing a cat as a hat, Pussy Princess. Gazin says people should check out the show because, “Cats are cute and the world isn't.” Profits from the show will benefit Kitten Rescue LA and the Ian Somerhalder Foundation.
Check out The Cat Art Show 3's furnominal artwork, on display June 14–24 at Think Tank Gallery, in the exclusive images below.
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