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Why Cats Paint: A Theory of Feline Aesthetics Paperback – May 1, 1994
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Also lacking is any serious discussion of Queer Theory, so vital in the deconstruction of any mammalian artistic representations.
Yet in spite of these flaws, Why Cats Paint remains an important and influential volume that no connaisseur of feline aesthetics can afford to ignore.
I am a person owned by cats - if one includes the kittens, I've had 19 cats officially (and another half-dozen stray hangers-on who know that food will be forthcoming). It had never occurred to me to give them paint! What would happen if I did?
The photography in the book is impressive. Working with children or animals in the best of settings is never easy for a photographer, but Heather Busch is to be commended for bravery, patience, and creativity that obviously rivals the cat-subjects of the text. Stunning colour shows not only the cats' creations, but the cats themselves, often matching their artistic styles in body as well as spirit (for example, Rusty, the orange tabby, likes to paint in a rustic manner; Wong and Lulu collaborate on interesting abstractions, etc.).
The text is written with ironic skill and creative flair by Burton Silver (cats may paint, but have yet to write...). Silver (the name of one of my cats, by the way) is a writer and art critic based in New Zealand, having written on subjects such as contemporary erotic Japanese paper sculpture.
In addition to going through a contemporary survey, the authors look at the history of cat art (including a Xois funerary discovery, ancient Egyptian art, medieval illuminations, and more). It also looks at the psychology of why cats paint (hence the title) -- the fascinating theory of Invertism is a case in point, which explains why cats lie on their heads looking at objects upside down approximately 3% of the day.
A funny book. A fascinating book. A beautiful book. My cats each give it paws up!
I am truly disheartened that I, a simple, "homeless" alley cat be discriminated against inclusion in this publication because I do not fit the priveledged, domesticated, bourgeois ideal. I refuse to wear a collar, and I beg freely at back alley kitchen exits. None of you talking monkies will ever claim me as a "pet," nor will I conform to your elitist dogma. I find your art criticism trite and superficial, a paeon to the Ivory Tower of academia -- completely detached from what it means to be feline, to teeter on the edge of survival.
May all my shed fur cling to your formalwear.
Lucius "Scruffy" Lickpaws
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book should be required reading for all art critics, art history instructors and museum docents. It is hilarious!Published 1 month ago by Joanna C
My cats paint, and I love their work. This book portrays the work of many other cat artists and it is a fundamental addition to any cat lover's library. Read morePublished 3 months ago by William E. Gandy
The book arrived just on time, in good condition. The pages were slightly frayed, but not enough to distract. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a lovely book with wonderful photos accompanied by by witty tongue-In-cheek text. I've purchased many copies as gifts for nearly all my cat-loving friends.Published 5 months ago by PhoenixMinkie
One of the funniest, most brilliant picture books of all time. I keep buying this book over and over to give as gifts. Never met anyone who didnʻt love it.Published 6 months ago by Pamela Polland
Well, the book lost all credibility (credit bill kitty?) with me after noting that the picture of the Medieval cat has been modified to LOOK like the cat is PAINTING... . .. Read morePublished 7 months ago by frankebe
In one word: Hilarious!
A museum-like analysis of the "artists" and their biographies, artistic styles, how these evolved, all delivered in highly sophisticated text... Read more
This beautiful book never fails to amuse me, on many levels.Published 10 months ago by Craig K. Jackson