The impending opening of Hauser Wirth & Schimmel in downtown Los Angeles may have sucked up all of the attention of the art glitterati this week. But that doesn't mean there aren't some other important artsy openings to look forward to: Namely, an entire art exhibition devoted to cats.
"Cat Art Show LA 2: The Sequel" is the much anticipated follow-up to "Cat Art Show Los Angeles," which took place last year and drew almost 5,000 visitors over a four-day run. The sequel will take place at Think Tank Gallery in late March and will feature 118 works of art devoted to the cat: oil paintings, photography, and even Georgian-style miniatures.
"There is one piece called 'Ascension,''' says Susan Michals, the exhibition's organizer; "it looks like something you'd see in the Sistine Chapel — except it's with cats."
The show features work from artists such as Adam Wallacavage, Marion Peck, Tim Biskup and C215 — as well as a few celebrities, such as tattoo artist Kat Von D and "Walking Dead" star Norman Reedus.
Michals, who works as a journalist, is also a force behind CatCon, which is essentially a ComicCon for cat people. The convention, in its second iteration this year, will take place at the end of June. "We have interesting new things planned," says Michals, "like speed dating for cat lovers."
Michals, naturally, has a cat (a Maine Coon named Miss Kitty Pretty Girl) as well as a Chihuahua terrier named Olive. ("I'm bipetual," she explains.)
She says cats make particularly good subject matter because of the opposing forces they often represent.
"There's this physicality," she explains. "Even if they're on the big side — pleasantly plump, shall we say — they can still have a high level of agility and their movements can be very much dancer-like."
"I also think cats are completely unpredictable," she says. "They can love you one second and toss you aside the next. They can be blasé. They can be adoring. You never know what you're going to get."
Viewers are not encouraged to bring their own cats. ("It's too much of a risk for cat and man," says Michals.) But while you're at the show you may nonetheless run into the Penguin, the gallery's resident feline. No word on whether he is the subject of a work of art ... yet.
"Cat Art Show LA 2: The Sequel" opens on Thursday, March 24 and runs through Sunday, March 27. On Saturday, March 26 at 2:30 p.m., Paul Koudounaris will give a lecture about important cats in history. Think Tank Gallery, 939 Maple Ave., Los Angeles, catartshow.com.