Why Cats Paint: A Theory of Feline Aesthetics by Heather Busch and Burton Silver. If you haven’t read it what are you waiting for? There is no more mind-blowing book in the whole field or genre.
No one can or should prepare you for your first browse through this mind-blowing collection of cat artists at work. Suffice it to say, when you hand the concept of cat art over to the art snobs you might expect mixed results, but confusion over the authors’ intent is one of the most charming things about this volume.
My favorite artwork in Why Cats Paint aren’t the paintings at all, which I feel are somewhat contrived. Paint’s not the most natural medium for cats. However, some of the installations of cat sculpture done on “found” items, such as sofas and mini-blinds—these felt like true works of bad genius. Like when the cat artists interacted with his or her work, entering and exiting the giant hole they had gnawed in the sofa’s side. I really appreciate this kind of found-object sculpture if it has an interactive performance component, particularly when such works occur at other folk’s houses.
If you’ve seen/read Why Cats Paint, please drop a comment and let me know what you thought. And if you haven’t read it, you might even find Why Cats Paint at the public library, as I was able to, so well known and considered is this fantastically great cat book!