I met this extremely talented cat when I adopted him after my mother passed away. It was actually Zarathustra who saved me from the subsequent depression. My mom loved the cat so much, and I think that is why he developed such a sensitive personality. He decided himself to become a model and performance artist. He adores posing for photos. He makes such coquettish poses and clever faces as if to say: “Paint me like these French girls…” So I do.
I am an artist by profession, and Zarathustra chose a right person to be his human slave. Now I have more than 7 000 photos of Zarathustra in my computer. I photoshop the cat carefully into a famous paintings’ digital image. It’s a challenge, he has to fit perfectly into a masterpiece, in position, in expression, and sometimes it takes months to get the right photo. I print my works and paint them, emulating the style of the great masters, to make the cat’s image look very natural in well-known masterpieces.
In these historical surroundings, Zarathustra still stays a contemporary Internet kitty, a meme, a “LOLcat”. In his Mona Lisa’s version, you see a girl with a cat posing for a photographer at the balcony. The cat is bored and wants to escape. Everybody has seen this scene somewhere! The mysterious Joconde from the 16th C becomes a modern city girl, who is fond of cats, internet and selfies. And now we have an absolutely different portrait. Thus, my cat introduces modern people to the history of art in a cute and funny way and shows that everybody can be creative, even a cat!
Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, True Version
Salvador Dali, The Persistence of Meowmory
Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon Crossing the Alps
Edgar Degas, The Ballet Class