|Click to "embiggen"|
It was a yard-sale find; one that she felt was an undervalued treasure. It was a painting - in fact, it was a larger than life-size portrait of a Siamese cat with compelling blue eyes.
You can read all about it at the link above. The gist of the story is that despite the critics, Mrs. G still treasures her cat painting, seeing it as an excellent example of naif American folk art. Or maybe paint-by-numbers.
That in mind, the other day while at a local antique store, I was struck by the painting above. A small panel, perhaps 12" x 12" painted in acrylic, it is another cat portrait painted in the naif style American folk art.
This cat, a ginger tabby, with a muscular, stocky body, looks guardedly at the viewer as it poses alongside what appears to be a papier-mache bobble-head toy tiger. The overarching line of the cat's tail is echoed by that of the toy. Both the cat and the toy have unusually large and powerful paws.
I sent her a photo, and await her response. I think Mrs. G could expand her collection, don't you think? It could be the primary on-line gallery of American Vernacular Cat Art. Perhaps we could host it together! It would be the Cat Art event of the year.
|Detail of the shrine|
I even have a papier-mache bobble-head cat - this one from Oaxaca.
Of course, this leads to a larger question - why have artists found the Cat to be such a fascinating subject? Is it the inscrutability of the Cat that proves to be so ellusive? Are cats easier to paint than dogs? As subjects, are they more rewarding?
Here's another exploration of Cat-as-art - the rather disturbing photo essay "Why Paint Cats?" by Burton Silver and Heather Busch
Painted cats? No. That's too much.
Do you have Cat paintings in your home collection? Or Painted Cats?
UPDATE: I am humbled by the amazing Cat Art collection exhibited by Smalltown Mom. Please disregard my feeble efforts, and visit her awesome blog.