(img source komercyjna.net)
Back in the day, when cat’s still knew how to spell, American photographer Harry Whittier Frees (1879–1953) dressed them up in silly costumes and made them pose as humans. Similar to the Brighton cats, the result was a vintage version of the LOLCat phenomenon. His mother assisted him in designing and sewing special outfits for the cats to hold them in position while he would patiently wait for the shot he had in mind.
These unusual photographs of real animals were made possible only by patient, unfailing kindness on the part of the photographer at all times.
Speed is essential in securing these pictures, but very often it is impossible to be quick enough. Young animals cannot hold a pose any better than human babies, and the situation is complicated when they are called on to be precocious in situations naturally foreign to them.
Frees’s career as a photographer of cats and other animals in fancy dress began in 1906, when a party hat was passed around the table accidentally landed on a cat’s head. He took a photo and a career was born. He sold some of his early shots to a postcard printer, who turned out to be keen on more. With time and practice, his sets became more elaborate and most often included various props. His photos were continued to be featured on postcards and also appeared in calendars, books, advertisments, and magazines.
Check out our selection here:
Originally, the iconic “keep calm and carry on” and was a British motivational poster produced in the context of World War II, and intended to lift the spirits of the public in the aftermath of mass air raids on British cities (read more on its history here). It had only very limited distribution and was little known at the time. It only gained wide popularity after it was rediscovered in 2000, and has been printed on various products since.
Keep calm and [insert whatever] has in the meantime become omnipresent and been modified to fit almost any interest imaginable. You’ve probably long guessed where we’re going with this. Yes of course – there is plenty of cat themed attempts at keeping calm. In fact, there is far too many to reproduce them all here, but we’ve picked our favourite five:
#1 Keep calm and love cats!
Kazuaki Kitamura, also known by his alias Horitomo, is a contemporary Japanese tattoo artist.
Following his initial studies, Horitomo worked at various tattoo studios in Tokyo and Osaka and took part in tattoo conventions, including shows in Amsterdam and Spain. From 2001 onwards, he began to study traditional Japanese tattooing from a master of the style. By now, he’s a longstanding expert in both Western style and Japanese tebori hand tattooing.
We, of course, are particularly taken by his tattoo designs centring on ever so lovely cats – cattoo design!
OH HAI!! is the London debut of artist and print ninja Bob Motown. Originally from Los Angeles, Bob is now in London and invites you to come take a peek into his world. It is a world where felines feast on pizza, pineapples are weapons, and food has arms and legs.
In case you happen to be in London, do check out the current exhibition of Bob Motown’s graphic art at Look Mum No Hands in Shoreditch. His artwork is on show until August 22nd and well worth a visit. We are, of course, particularly impressed with the intricate presence of cats in many of the pieces!
Ever wondered where your socks go? At least two answers implied here (neither of which is the infamous sock monster). Enjoy the kittens taking care of it!
Soldier’s goodbye & Bobbie the cat, Sydney, between 1939-1945. Photographed by Sam Hood (1872-1953).