Cats In Art – Past Present Future

Artwork that involves animals is always on my radar, no surprise, and I appreciate any type of art that involves cats. There are lots out there but I have attempted to narrow it down to a few of my personal favorites past, present and future.

I have been fascinated by Egypt and its artwork ever since I can remember, and as a child I will never forget seeing the beautiful artifacts of the famous Pharaoh Tutankhamen at the ROM exhibit here in Toronto. Most people are aware that ancient Egyptians worshiped and revered felines, depicting them in the forms of Deities with the most famous being Bast. Bast had different incarnations before being represented as a domestic cat, which I think is the image most are familiar with. I know it’s the first one I remember seeing and it has been ingrained in memory ever since.

Cats, History, Art, Egypt, Gods

Bast or Bastet as being represented as a domestic cat

“You are the Great Cat, the avenger of the gods, and the judge of words, and the president of the sovereign chiefs and the governor of the holy Circle; you are indeed the Great Cat.”

I am also a huge fan of the Impressionists and painter Renoir, who clearly had a love and appreciation for the feline form. He has a few wonderful paintings featuring cats but this is one of my personal favorites as it shows a particularly content looking kitty enjoying a cuddle, I imagine purring away. It’s also a scene that most cat owners can relate to,  however I do wonder how long the feline subject sat still during the prep work for this piece.

Cats, Art, History, Impressionism, Renoir, Julie Manet, Child with Cat

Pierre Auguste Renoir, Julie Manet also known as Child with cat (1887)

The cats of the Hermitage deserve a special mention as they have been guarding The State Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia from rats since 1745. These kitties are definitely one of my favorite cats in “art” even though their official role is in the history of the museum. They are quite famous, and while their roles as rat catchers has slightly changed over the years they have a following all their own. They are taken care of by volunteers and provided with food, attention, cat doors to and from the museum and vaccinations. Behind the scenes video of the Hermitage cats can be seen here.

cats,history, Russia, Hermitage museum, art

“Vaska the cat with antique statue” photographed in the museum yard – (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Present day, we have the first cat art show in Los Angeles that happened early this year where over 60 artists exhibited works – pop culture meets cat. Artists paid tribute to cats using humor and real life characters which made for fun, colorful, interesting and beautiful works.

Anybody look familiar?

Marc Dennis, Cat, art show, los angeles, Snoop Dogg

Marc Dennis Gold Framed Portrait of a wide-eyed cat

So what about the future? Cat-tification of art seems to be a growing trend that thankfully is here to stay, and whether you prefer the “classic” or “modern” themes, or ones that merge the two, the future of art looks very bright and furry.

cats,  classical art, sisteen chapel, leonardo davinci

Famous paintings improved by cats

 

 

 

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Is That A Lion On Your Front Lawn?

If only I had a place to put this and the money. Dream big or go home. Le sigh….

Istanbul artist Selçuk Yılmaz has a bit of a talent for working with metal. (I’ll say)

Art, Lion, Istanbul, artist, Sculpture, Big Cats , Selçuk Yılmaz Click here to see the rest of this magnificent creation! I am obsessed with it, it is beyond beautiful, exquisite and I would commission an entire pride  if I won the lotto…I am being dead serious when I make this statement. And when people stop and ask me “Is that a Lion on your front lawn?” I would say yes, yes it is.

Do You Know These Cartoon Cats?

Fun Feline Friday is a little frustrating at the moment…so far I have Hello Kitty, Pink Panther, Garfield, Heathcliffe? Stimpy, Sylvester, Felix, Tom, Snowball I, Snowball II, Cheshire cat…

stimpy, garfield, pink panther, Hello kitty, Tom & Jerry, heathcliffe, felixWho out there can help me fill in the gaps?

 

Laser Cat Project

Lasers, cats… artwork. Can’t think of a better combo. Is it me or are cats taking over the art world? Actually I think they have always secretly owned it and have been steering the creatives towards total world domination of feline infused art for centuries. I am fine with this.

Laser Cat is hungry for your art!

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 8.30.11 PMLaser Cat video screen shot courtesy of Hungry Castle

“A giant cat head that radiates art through its laser beam eyes is the latest commission of the art directors club, created for their 93rd annual awards + festival of art and craft in advertising and design. ‘laser cat‘ is conceived by barcelona-based hungry castle and comprises a massive feline face with illuminated ‘lasers’ for eyes, which use high powered projectors to transfer the personal art projects of the creative community onto urban surroundings. renowned artists and designers like Stefan Sagmeister, Milton Glaser, Banksy and David Lynch have already submitted their work, preparing to exhibit publicly on the south beach streets. the event will take place through the digital eyes of the quirky cat face from April 7-9th, 2014 in Miami beach.”

Watch the full promo video here

Fancy a trip to Miami beach anyone? Pew Pew!