There's no denying our affinity for felines; just consider the plethora of cat videos on the Internet.
Susan Michals has tapped into this love affair and will present Cat Art Show Los Angeles at 101/exhibit in Los Angeles over the next two weekends. Seventy artists have created work specifically for the exhibit, all of which will be available for purchase; a portion of the proceeds will benefit Stray Cat Alliance of Los Angeles.
Michals is an art and culture journalist and a cat lover. She lives in Los Angeles with her Maine Coon cat and Chihuahua/terrier mix dog, which are both rescues.
What: Second Annual Internet Cat Video Festival.
When: 9 tonight.
Where: The Federal Bar, 102 Pine Ave., Long Beach.
Information: 866-468-3399, www.ticketweb.com.
“I adore cats — from their personalities to their wily ways,” Michals said. “Felines have been omnipresent in art since the beginning of time.”
Michals sees Cat Art Show Los Angeles as a way of sharing her passion for cats and art with the public. The exhibit will include paintings and sculpture by artists including Mercedes Helnwein, Tim Biskup and Faile. Misako Inaoka from the Bay Area will display “Double,” a sculpture of a cat with two heads, according to Michals, while Los Angeles artist Mattia Biagi will show a sculpture of a black cat on a Roomba. And Ryan Metke of New York has created a painting that looks like a maze, but is actually a QR code which, when scanned, reveals the image of a cat.
Los Angeles contemporary artist Gary Baseman also will be participating in the show. He is the creator of the Emmy Award-winning ABC-Disney series “Teacher's Pet” and is the artistic designer for the board game Cranium. His work can be seen in fine art galleries, as well as on fashion accessories and as toys. Last year his work was featured in the exhibits “The Door Is Always Open” at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles and “Mythical Homeland” at the Shulamit Gallery in Venice.
“I have a reputation with cats. They've always been very inspiring to me in my life, so it's a no-brainer to ask me to create a piece about cats,” Baseman said.
Baseman created the painting “Scratch and Bite” for Cat Art Show Los Angeles.
“It is inspired by my own cat, Blackie,” Baseman said. “He was my neighbor's outdoor cat and then he decided to adopt me. He's this 22-pound cat full of love, but at the same time, he can turn on you in a second.”
Baseman grew up with an assortment of animals and liked them all, but he has a special place in his heart for cats. He likes that, unlike a dog that comes when you call, felines do things on their own terms. As an artist, he sees cats intertwined with femininity, playfulness, sensuality and freedom, and often incorporates them into his work. An example is his character Toby — a cartoonish black-and-white cat wearing a red fez that recurs in Baseman's creations.
“Toby is my alter ego. He is the keeper of your dirty little secrets and he loves you unconditionally,” Baseman said.
On Valentine's Day, Baseman will release a new version of his Toby plush on his website, www.garybaseman.com.\
CAT ART SHOW LOS ANGELES
When: Noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and Feb. 1 and 2.
Where: 101/exhibit, 6205 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles.