An unprecedented photographic record of cat creativity that will intrigue cat lovers and art lovers alike.
I am truly disheartened that I, a simple, "homeless" alley cat be discriminated against inclusion in this publication because I do not fit the priveledged, domesticated, bourgeois ideal. I refuse to wear a collar, and I beg freely at back alley kitchen exits. None of you talking monkies will ever claim me as a "pet," nor will I conform to your elitist dogma. I find your art criticism trite and superficial, a paeon to the Ivory Tower of academia -- completely detached from what it means to be feline, to teeter on the edge of survival.
May all my shed fur cling to your formalwear.
Lucius "Scruffy" Lickpaws
<bakercynch at hotmail dot com> no spam!
I am a person owned by cats - if one includes the kittens, I've had 19 cats officially (and another half-dozen stray hangers-on who know that food will be forthcoming). It had never occurred to me to give them paint! What would happen if I did?
The photography in the book is impressive. Working with children or animals in the best of settings is never easy for a photographer, but Heather Busch is to be commended for bravery, patience, and creativity that obviously rivals the cat-subjects of the text. Stunning colour shows not only the cats' creations, but the cats themselves, often matching their artistic styles in body as well as spirit (for example, Rusty, the orange tabby, likes to paint in a rustic manner; Wong and Lulu collaborate on interesting abstractions, etc.).
The text is written with ironic skill and creative flair by Burton Silver (cats may paint, but have yet to write...). Silver (the name of one of my cats, by the way) is a writer and art critic based in New Zealand, having written on subjects such as contemporary erotic Japanese paper sculpture.
In addition to going through a contemporary survey, the authors look at the history of cat art (including a Xois funerary discovery, ancient Egyptian art, medieval illuminations, and more). It also looks at the psychology of why cats paint (hence the title) -- the fascinating theory of Invertism is a case in point, which explains why cats lie on their heads looking at objects upside down approximately 3% of the day.
A funny book. A fascinating book. A beautiful book. My cats each give it paws up!
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