group show 41
New Cats in Art Photography
We almost titled this show “I Got 99 Cat Photos and a Bitch Ain’t One,” “These Cat Photos Will Blow Your Mind and You’ll Never Guess What Happened Next…” or “Henri Kittier Bresson, and the Canon of the Photo Meows....”
Reading this, you’re hopefully cracking a smile, but more likely rolling your eyes. Whatever your reaction may be, we decided to stick with “New Cats in Art Photography.” Maybe we’re shooting ourselves in the viral paw but hopefully the Internet will forgive us.
Why do we love cats? Why are they one of the most viral entities known to post Generation X’ers and Millennials? Why are feline musings simultaneously click-bait dreams and equally one of the largest causes of social media animosity and “de-friending?” This exhibition won’t answer any of those questions. Nor will it project any theories on the impact of cats in our rapidly shifting contemporary photographic landscape, but it will give you a glimpse into how cats make their way into the work some of today’s most challenging (and diverse) photographers.
“New Cats in Art Photography” includes 100 images from some of our favorite photographers around the world, and varies from larger bodies of work dedicated entirely to cats, to one-off cat photos that find their way into non-cat specific portfolios. Alexandra Crockett’s “Metal Cats” uses straightforward portraits of male Metalheads with their cats to explore pre-conceptions of masculinity in heavy metal culture and larger social contexts. Arne Svenson photographs stray cats standing in front of floral and pastel backgrounds, their backs to the camera in a way that “disengages the viewer” allowing them to vanish into a mess of fur and color. While Crocket and Svenson’s larger bodies of work rely heavily on cats, the majority of the images in this exhibition, ranging from Rachelle Mozman’s “One Eyed Cat,” to Elad Lassry’s “Selkirk Rex” to Asger Carlsen’s twisted feline sculpture, are casual, seemingly random photographs of cats that have floated in to their larger projects. “New Cats in Art Photography” may not answer any of our questions as to why photographers love cats so much, but it gives us some insights into how they continue to serve as a photographic muse.
– Jon Feinstein, Co-Founder, Humble Arts Foundation