Brooklyn, so we’re told, is now the hippest place on the planet. So it follows that the art scene there must be a daring and cutting-edge assault on the senses, right? Well, sort of. On a recent jog through the hipster-saturated blocks of Bushwick I noticed a pleasingly high incidence of street art that features cats. Score! Some of the artwork was impressive, a lot of it was ridiculous. But it was all seemingly rooted in an adoration of the regal feline. Here then is an eye-candy gallery of what might be the cat art center of the universe.
A modern classic of the form, this floating cat head with Miley Cyrus-esque tongue action combines the disciplines of wheat-pasting and cuteness. So impressive I, er, used it as my Twitter avatar.
This three-eyed feline was spied outside of Roberta’s, a very acclaimed hipster haven of a pizza place. Unfortunately I have no idea if the pizza is actually any good as there’s usually a line to order and if you’re waiting for pizza you’re eating it all wrong: Pizza is to complement a couch-and-TV combo and for vital post-beer carbs. There’s also a chance this black-and-white illustration is actually a raccoon — you can never be sure with the cool kids.
Impressive in scale and ferocious in attack, I spotted this pasted up on the side of a factory building. The message is clear: Cats run this city.
Here we have a vibrant example of some typical graffiti being pepped up by a cat cascading over the top of it. True to the roots of the art form and feline friendly.
Revolutionary anti-consumerist art at its finest, here the talisman of a certain multinational fast-food emporium is seen holding a portly cat with a worrying look on its face. Savvy ripping of the edge of the artwork lets you wonder exactly what Ronald’s other hand is doing. Deep.
And now for some positivity: Here’s a good-luck cat painted up outside of a factory and presumably intended as some sort of Chinese New Year celebration from the glory days of 2012. The disbanded wooden palettes are an observation on China’s ever-dominating manufacturing status.
A sagely statement from a wit known as Forker, this is a piece that nevertheless inspires only one reaction in me: To put a darn period at the end of the sentence.
Exploring the nexus between street gang logo and feline pride, this battle-hardened cat face carries with it the changes that have taken place as Brooklyn has undergone widespread gentrification. Remember, no matter what happens, we are all just a city cat at heart.
Big cats are cats, too. This is a grand mural that I affectionately like to call “Tiger Style.” It is painted on the side of a particularly stinky poultry slaughterhouse.
Paging Regretsy! And possibly the ASPCA, being that this cat homage includes real dried chili peppers stuck to it — a product that’s not exactly friendly to the delicate tummy of the average cat. The average feline is totally fine to use a 3 1/2-inch floppy disc though (also included).
Read more on cats in art:
- Cats on the Playa: Photos of My Favorite Kitty-Themed Artworks and Sightings at Burning Man
- Former President George W. Bush Switches Allegiance
- We Speak to the Curator of Brooklyn Museum’s “Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt”
- Art We Heart: We Talk to Pet Photographer Andy Stolarek
- Where the Wild Things Are: The Cats of Maurice Sendak
- When It Comes to Cat Art, Are You a Snob Like I Am?