a few years ago my dad started painting. as an urban designer he’s always had a pencil in his hand, but he never had the time to flex his creative muscles outside of work. he began experimenting with various mediums, and quickly settled on watercolour painting. i warned him that it was a tough medium – it might look deceptively easy when you see the finished product but actually getting there is, well, an art. there’s no real room for error, unlike oil painting where you can layer and even remove paint if you’ve made a mistake.
i should start this post by saying that artistic depictions of cats go back as far as the Egyptians who- bla bla bla, but the point is cats are cool so of course why wouldn’t they appear in art since forever? what i realised after looking around for rad art that featured felines is that there are a lot of nudes + cats. this Picasso being perhaps the most explicit. is it because people tend to strut around their house naked, while their cats look on? i know i always did when my cat was still alive. and then you’d stop and look at the cat, who was looking at you, and you’d think… is it judging me or does it just not care? (a bit of both)
this article about cats made my day. from life magazine, 1946. some of my favourite bits:
perhaps half of all the cats, have semipermanent homes in barns, stables, factories, office buildings, restaurants, stores, prisons, churches and ships. the submerged remainder, the unorganized and unorganizable proletariat of the cat world, roam the back alleys, woods and deserts and do the best they can.
cats had an especially good press during the war, in which many of them took a helpful part … a few gifted cats wore uniforms and sold war bonds or bought bonds from their own bank accounts.
some cats, to paraphrase thoreau, lead lives of quiet desparation, but many others have a thoroughly good time and take a lively part in human affairs.
… favorable publicity like this is important to cats, which prefer to live on good terms with human beings whenever possible.
… “only relatively well-to-do cats have these”
chih chen has a ginger cat that makes me swoon. he looks like he would be an ideal cuddle partner. i’m only assuming he is indeed a male because ginger cats are usually male, right? (3:1 male to female ratio i believe – cat fact.) be sure to check out the rest of her mesmerising film photography at her flickr… i got lost in there for quite a while.
edit: his name is rufus :)
all photographs by chih chen
keep having this crazy thought that i should be cutting down on my coffee consumption. bah! life’s too short not to be caffeinated. then i discovered seth restaino’s photographs, which illustrate that theory beautifully (plus cats)
i’m also quite intrigued by that chemex coffee maker (“designed by a german born chemist and based on laboratory glass vessels”) – even though i already abuse a variety of methods to make my own … espresso machine, stove top moka, french press … anybody have a chemex? any good?
all photographs by seth restaino
brainiac the art of matte stephens at etsy