It’s baaaack!!!! The world’s most popular biennial art exhibition dedicated to the feline is back for a third time, opening Thursday, June 14, 2018 at Think Tank Gallery in Los Angeles. Beneficiaries of the exhibition include The Ian Somerhalder Foundation and Kitten Rescue LA.
From as far afield as Cuba, Japan, Russia, Serbia and the UK, the roster reflects a similarly diverse variety of cat breeds including Maine Coons, Russian Blues, Siamese, Sphynxes, and Tabbies depicted across a range of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, collage and embroidery.
A special, multi-sensory activation “ Purrvana ”, will combine cat purrs with color in a lounge environment throughout the duration of the exhibition. How purrrfect!
Current social and political issues take a central place in the themes for this year’s exhibition with works directly targeting President Trump and pop culture icons such as Kanye West and Taylor Swift, but also touching upon topical issues surrounding identity politics. American painter Rose Freymuth-Frazier depicts a grandiose Persian furball in classical style defiantly pawing an overturned and prostrate Donald Trump (a best-selling pet doll), wrestled to the ground in the aptly titled Divine Intervention.
British artist Annie Montgomerie presents three gender-specific and ethnically diverse sculpted, anthropomorphic doll-like kitties as an ode to childhood memories; Hugo Martinez, who formerly worked in the studio of David LaChapelle, showcases social-media phenomenon Princess Cheeto as delectable sushi-muse in Rollin with my Homies, and the devil’s in the detail in Dr. Paul Koudounaris’s Mewcifer , a super cute, not quite-macabre Tabby, inspired in part thanks to the artist’s extraordinarily cooperative muse, a rescue cat named Baba — all continue the legacy of renowned artists, aka “huge cat guys of the art world” Pierre Bonnard, Salvador Dalí, Wassily Kandinsky, Gustav Klimt, Henri Matisse, Georgia O’Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, and of course, Andy Warhol.
Among the participating artists, some have never produced a work of a domestic cat prior to the their involvement in Cat Art Show. Shepard Fairey’s first ever domesticated cat work, Radical Cat, made for the inaugural edition in 2014 was a sure homage to the African-American revolutionary party, The Black Panthers.
“ The enigmatic feline has been a source of artistic inspiration for thousands of years,” said Susan Michals, creator and curator of the show. “One moment they can be a best friend, the next, an antagonist. They are the perfect subject matter, and works of art, all by themselves.”
Every year, Cat Art Show donates a portion of its proceeds to a cat-related organization. Works on view are for sale and a percentage of sales will benefit the Ian Somerhalder Foundation , founded by actors and philanthropists Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures.
Kitten Rescue is the beneficiary of the Closing Night event titled The Kitty Cuddle Party, with adoptable kitten onsite, on Saturday, June 23, 2018. Tickets are $25 with 10% going to the charity.
Other nocturnal activities include Feline Frolic, an evening of famous feline history and Purrlesque taking place on Thursday, June 21 from 7-10PM, including a lecture by participating artist Dr. Paul Koudounaris and burlesque PURRformances by Vanessa Burgundy and Iza la Vamp.
Prices of the works range from $300 to $150,000. Admission is $5 with free admission for children under 5 years, with the exception of Wednesday June 20 when admission is free for all. $1 of every ticket sold will benefit The Ian Somerhalder Foundation. Evening events are ticketed (varying in price) with limited capacity.
Show Highlights include:
- Devan Shimoyama – A visual artist working primarily in self-portraiture and narratives inspired from classical mythology and allegory, Shimoyama was the 2016 Pulse Prize winner. His mixed-media compositions investigate questions of identity and queer culture. The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh will present a solo exhibition of his works this Fall.
- Marion Peck – A celebrated American Pop Surrealist painter whose characteristically cartoonish works are positioned in a wonderful world full of dark wit, loneliness and sweet optimism. Kitten with Daisies 2018, made for this exhibition, is one of several tiny works to be presented. Measuring just a mere 16″ x 14″ with its frame, it makes a big impact.
- Princess Cheeto – The worldwide instagram star cat is owned by photographer Hugo Martinez whose work has been featured in numerous commercial campaigns, fashion editorials, and museums. In his surreal photographs of his cat, Martinez infuses elements of pop culture while anthropomorphizing and exploring ideas of the feline as modern day muse.
- Edel Rodriguez – described as Donald Trump’s most hated artist for his depictions of the President – (two works are on the covers of Time and Der Spiegel) is participating in the third edition of Cat Art Show has made the posters and art work for U2’s set on their current tour
- Joann Biondi – Miami-based photographer and writer Biondi is the owner of international feline sensation Lorenzo the Cat. Biondi’s Maine Coon art photography has appeared in over 50 major media outlets throughout the world and are a testament to the inherent beauty of the feline form.
- Mary Alayne Thomas – Portland-based artist Thomas creates surrealist works using complex layering of encaustic and silkscreen over watercolor paintings. Exuding a sense of fantasy and mystery, her atmospheric works are inspired by the beauty in nature.
About Cat Art Show
Curator Susan Michals created Cat Art Show in 2014 to critical and popular acclaim. A journalist and collector, she covers the intersection of art, culture and celebrity. Her work has been featured in media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair Online, artnet News, The Observer, and Huffington Post. She owns one cat, a Maine Coon, named Miss Kitty Pretty Girl. Michals also created CatCon , the largest pop culture cat-centric convention in the world in 2015, taking place yearly in Pasadena, California. Thanks to both of her initiatives over $140K has been raised for cat-related charities and over 300 cats have been adopted. Due to popular demand this year’s CatCon convention opening August 4-5, 2018 has already sold out to exhibitors.
Cat Art Show is also produced in association with Daniel Salin, a producer, promoter and curator, recognized for his production of Banksy’s 2006 Los Angeles show, “Barely Legal” as well as the exhibition of Mr. Brainwash’s collection of works seen in the Academy Award nominated film, Exit Through the Gift Shop. He is also cat guy.
Credits: Photos provided with permission from Cat Art Show