Cat Art Show Los Angeles – Opening Night Review

Laura DavisLaura Davis, an honorary Angeleno, was I HAVE CAT’s roving correspondent for the Opening Evening of the Cat Art Show. Thanks to Laura it’s as if we got to go to the exhibit too! You can read more about Laura and her three cats at the end of this piece.

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It was a lively crowd that turned out for the Los Angeles Cat Art Show opening Saturday night. People from all walks of life – singles, families with small children, older couples – and everyone in between showed up, many dressed in their feline finest.

People were sporting everything from cat-ear headbands, Felix the Cat watches, a myriad of cat t-shirts, leopard-print-everything, and one beautifully embroidered cat face blouse. I’m not quite sure what the guy in the floor-length butterfly print skirt was going for. Maybe he thought the cats would like the butterflies?

One of my favorite things at this kind of event is the great opportunity for people watching (and eavesdropping!) Since there was a wait to get in, people started chatting with their neighbors and surfing the web on their phones. Wallets were pulled out and cat pictures shared. Snippets of conversation could be heard in the crowd:

“How many cats have you got?”

“We have 3, how about you?”

“I have a Chihuahua; I’m allergic to cats.”

“…and all of a sudden, he [a large orange tom cat, she explained] just decided he didn’t like women. They had a guest over, and he attacked her while she was in the bathroom!”

One lady was reciting random cat facts. “The oldest house cat on record lived to be 38!” and, “Did you know house cats can run 30 miles an hour?”

Behind me, I heard a man laugh and say something about Waffles to his girlfriend. I glanced back, and he was looking at Glogirly’s Facebook page. The lady behind him saw Waffles over his shoulder and squeaked with delight. He directed her to Glogirly’s page, where she and her friends found a new kitty love.

Waffles of Glogirly.com fame

Waffles of Glogirly.com fame was the new cat of the hour

 

Apparently, the VIP reception broke-up about this time, because we noticed quite a few people being escorted out the back door and into their cars under the cover of golf umbrellas. Mind you, it had been a 75-degree day without a cloud in the sky, and it was nearly 8 p.m., so it’s unlikely that these folks were in need of sun protection. Ah, Hollywood!

Visitors were even inspired to create cat art of their own. As the line neared the entrance to the gallery and people were starting to get restless. There was a large wooden frame leaned up against the building about 4 feet square. The guy behind me grabbed it, hopped up and started mimicking cat behaviors like face-washing and batting at flying insects in the frame while his companion took pictures!

Inside, the 3,000-square foot gallery was stuffed with a mind-boggling array of artwork dedicated to our fine feline friends. I expected to see a lot of paintings, photography, and digital art, which there most certainly were, but what I didn’t expect was the variety of textile artworks like Faile’s “Lost & Found” quilt.

Cat Art Show

Faile’s “Lost & Found” quilt

 

It featured black and white panels with lost and found cat posters and vintage advertisements tied together with a salmon pink background and assorted newsprint text as borders.

Another textile piece that drew big attention was an embroidered piece on natural linen, entitled, “Broke Ass Baby Daddy,” by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti. It’s a simple piece in an understated palette – a sketchy depiction of a reclining marmalade tabby – but its humor made a huge splash!

“Broke Ass Baby Daddy,” by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti.

“Broke Ass Baby Daddy,” by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti.

 

Misako Inaoka’s sculpture “Double” shows a 2-headed cat with moving bird-mice that squeaked as people walk by (I’m sorry to report that this sculpture was displayed near the bar area, and some people were using the base as a cocktail table: probably not what the artist envisioned!).

Misako Inaoka’s sculpture “Double”

Misako Inaoka’s sculpture “Double”

 

Mattia Biagi created a sculpture of a black cat riding a Roomba, which, sadly, was not operating when I visited because there were so many attendees, it wouldn’t have had room to move around.

Speaking of the bar, they were serving champagne in tiny, shallow plastics cups. With all the people jostling each other in the crowded space, I ended up getting splashed with one of them and went home wearing “eau de champagne”!

There were vintage photos of celebrities with their cats, contemporary photos of cats, and some beautifully altered photos, like Jill Greenberg’s piece, “Glitch Cat (Morris).” The piece shows Morris the cat in a kind of “Max Headroom” style: lined and grainy, with colors askew.

Jill Greenberg’s piece, “Glitch Cat (Morris)."

Jill Greenberg’s piece, “Glitch Cat (Morris).”

 

One of the pieces I was most impressed with is Rob Reger’s, “40 Cats in 4 Directions,” which spins on the wall, yet the cats (depicted in a style that reminded me of Escher) always appear to be right side up.

Rob Reger’s, “40 Cats in 4 Directions.”

Rob Reger’s, “40 Cats in 4 Directions.”

 

My other personal “best picks” from the show were “Shark Hat” by Jason Shawn Alexander because it just cracked me up in its absurdity.

“Shark Hat” by Jason Shawn

“Shark Hat” by Jason Shawn“Yarn,”

 

“Yarn” by Tim Biskup, which mashes up Picasso’s style with a mid-century modern color palette.

“Yarn,” by Tim Biskup

“Yarn,” by Tim Biskup

 

…and the one I most deeply long to have hanging on my office wall, “Toulouse” by Natalia Fabia. For me, it represents the beautiful chaos and brightly colored exuberance that is Cat.

“Toulouse,” by Natalia Fabia

“Toulouse,” by Natalia Fabia

 

The Cat Art Show Los Angeles is at 101/exhibit galley, 6205 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. Admission is free and cameras are allowed, but plan to spend some time waiting to get in. All of the art works on display are for sale, and a portion of the proceeds from the show will benefit Stray Cat Alliance of Los Angeles. The show will be open again next weekend February 1 and 2, from noon until 5 p.m.

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Laura Davis is a freelance writer and editor who is kindly allowed to live in the home of three fabulous felines: Pebbles, Piglet, and Ziggy. Piglet, her assistant editor, has discerning taste in literature and excels at helping Laura relax after a long day’s work.

Piglet

Piglet

Pebbles is primarily responsible for keeping Laura’s books warm, even while she’s still reading them,

Peebles

Peebles

 

while  Ziggy provides comic relief for the entire household.

Ziggy

Ziggy

 

Laura’s primary duties include earning money for cat food, toys, and other accessories, and providing iPad games for cats, as well as using her opposable thumbs to open the door 7,346 times daily. She does, for the record, have a crush on Petie (of I HAVE CAT).

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20 Responses to Cat Art Show Los Angeles – Opening Night Review

  1. Oh my COD!!! Cat of the HOUR????
    This is REALLY going to go to Waffles’ head.
    I can barely live with him already!

    Seriouslies…thank you SO much for the awesome shout out! …and hey, nice photo of Waffles!
    haha!

    xoxo

  2. Sparkle says:

    Since my human couldn’t make it to the opening, she is going to try to go next weekend.

  3. Brandy Grote says:

    Fun! Some really pretty pieces, I’ll have to try to get there!

  4. “The Whaff” rules

    xoxo
    Ms. Stella O’Houligan

  5. ggcats says:

    Thanks for the photos! I like the Toulouse one also.

  6. Colehaus Cats says:

    Awesome review! We, meaning us and our painter cat Quint, would have loved to have been there. Thanks for sharing and for helping support a great cause!

  7. jmuhj says:

    Yet another “TOULOUSE” fan, but I’d choose “PEEBLES” over all the rest, actually. Sounds like an…interesting…show. I’m a born and bred Angeleno and I can tell you, we aren’t all like that. ;)

  8. meowmeowmans says:

    What an awesome review! I wish I still lived in Los Angeles, because I would’ve totally loved to have seen this exhibit!

  9. Thank you so much for your kind words about my piece, Laura! I was unfortunately in NYC for the show but am thrilled to hear that it drew a few chuckles. :)

  10. Kitties Blue says:

    Wish we lived in a big city…so many cool things, like cat art shows, that we don’t have. Really enjoyed this post and especially the art.Thanks, Janet

    • Tamar says:

      That’s why we’re here! To bring you all that’s fit to print, and you don’t have to pay the ridiculous rents! :) Thanks for your loyal readership!

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