Catmasutra - Forty Winks and the tapestry of dreams

Gustav Klimt is one of my favorite artists, with "The Kiss" being one of the best loved decorative paintings in the history of art. There is a lot of sensuality in Klimt's works which borders on the mythical and subconscious. This painting was actually conceptualized for Catmasutra II exhibition back in 2005, whereby in the process of "reversing pop art", I took high art and immersed it with Catmasutra's joie de vivre! Some of the pieces included Halo having a time of her life in Monet's Water Lily garden (“Serenading Monet”), Magritte's Green Apple (“Apple on the Inside”), Warhol's Campbell Soup (“Fish Soup”), Seurat's Bathers at Asnieres (Mooching by the Bay), Botero's dancers, Hockney's Splash (Before the Splash), Rousseau's Merry Jesters (Jesters' Paradise), Van Gogh's Chair (Coffeebreak at Vincent's)!

I wanted to include a piece on Klimt but the style seems to be at odds with Catmasutra's sensibilities. Catmasutra is irreverent, with a devil-may-care bravado, the colors bold and strong, while Klimt's works are of a mythic proportion dealing with archetypes of both good and evil, light and dark, and invites you to a place of your wildest dreams and your deepest fears. For the longest time, I was unable to reconcile this piece...

I have sketched it out but was unable to breathe life into it. The inspiration then were two pieces of work, Water Snakes and Goldfish (top). I have always liked water and what it represents, the fluidity of the stream of life, and how we would reap the benefits if we flow with it rather than paddle against it. Klimt's mythical creatures seem to relish this flow of life into the subconscious, a surrender to the uncontrolled upsurging of the life force. Haha It's a different plane altogether from Catmasutra, which may derive its force from the subconscious but is more of a display of irreverence on the conscious mind.

Shaken from my slumber, I took the canvas out, contemplated my palette of colors and decided to just go with intuition. Gold and blue metamorphosing to a luminous green, silver and purple, orange and gold... weaving through a tapestry of dreams with Halo as the vehicle for sleep (for she can sleep 23 hours a day!), catching forty winks under the bed, and otherwise dead to the world. Cats are possibly the only true masters of the art of sleeping. If we need to dream, perhaps we should borrow more sleep time from a cat, and get nine lives worth!


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