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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 21 May 2017
Despite the discrimination against the superior artistry of dogs this is a work of joyful exploration and has much to justify the purchase.
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on 9 January 2017
The book is lovely condition and I got it for my boyfriend's birthday and he loves it. Some of the cats paint recognisable things and the pictures of the cats are lovely.
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on 7 December 2007
Several theories of feline art have been put forward over the years, and this volume may serve as an excellent introduction to the uninitiated. Influential feline artists are discussed and their work reprinted in glorious detail. There is, however, a strong bias towards the mainstream of cat art. Important, indeed vital, underground movements are completely ignored. The street art of alley cats is sadly overlooked, perhaps reflecting the authors deference to the curators of that ivory tower, the Museum of Non Primate Art.
Also lacking is any serious discussion of Queer Theory, so vital in the deconstruction of any mammalian artistic representations.
Yet in spite of these flaws, Why Cats Paint remains an important and influential volume that no connaisseur of feline aesthetics can afford to ignore.
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on 7 December 2010
I own a paperback copy of this book, which is 11 inches by 9 inches, so I was very disappointed to receive the tiny hardback version, when I ordered it for a friend's birthday. Is there any way to establish the size of the book, prior to purchase? Are all the paperback versions in the larger size, or only certain editions? The book definitely does not work so well in the smaller format.
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HALL OF FAMEon 1 July 2005
The first time I saw this book, I thought it was such a riot that I couldn't stop laughing. But then, as the pages progressed, a small thought crept over me -- 'could this be serious?'
I am a person owned by cats - if one includes the kittens, I've had 19 cats officially (and another half-dozen stray hangers-on who know that food will be forthcoming). It had never occurred to me to give them paint! What would happen if I did?
The photography in the book is impressive. Working with children or animals in the best of settings is never easy for a photographer, but Heather Busch is to be commended for bravery, patience, and creativity that obviously rivals the cat-subjects of the text. Stunning colour shows not only the cats' creations, but the cats themselves, often matching their artistic styles in body as well as spirit (for example, Rusty, the orange tabby, likes to paint in a rustic manner; Wong and Lulu collaborate on interesting abstractions, etc.).
The text is written with ironic skill and creative flair by Burton Silver (cats may paint, but have yet to write...). Silver (the name of one of my cats, by the way) is a writer and art critic based in New Zealand, having written on subjects such as contemporary erotic Japanese paper sculpture.
In addition to going through a contemporary survey, the authors look at the history of cat art (including a Xois funerary discovery, ancient Egyptian art, medieval illuminations, and more). It also looks at the psychology of why cats paint (hence the title) -- the fascinating theory of Invertism is a case in point, which explains why cats lie on their heads looking at objects upside down approximately 3% of the day.
A funny book. A fascinating book. A beautiful book. My cats each give it paws up!
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on 30 March 2015
This book is amazing , after my cat Mrs TIddlesworth pawwed through it she was straight at the canvas smashing out work that I can only describe as staggering . In fact it has had such a profound effect that her rendition of the sunflowers will be displayed at the National portrait gallery , be warned though after painting some great works she became depressed and cut off one of her ears and sent it to a local tomcat . This should serve as a warning to any aspiring feline artists.
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on 23 December 2007
Humorous book,imitating art books.

This is a wonderful book, with very nice photos. The art world jargon is very believable. The cats are presented the way typically artists are shown and described by the art establishment.Abstract expressionism is covered mostly, also you will have examples of installation art. Deliciuos and heart warming!I truly recommend this book, if you are an aillurophile yourself, or want it as a gift for a cat person, or an artist.
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on 16 November 2007
Like the other reviewers, I thought this was a spoof - and remain convinced that it is. It puts one in the eye to all the art-critics we love to hate, with its coy descriptions and slightly Queenish attitude...if you love cats, you'll recognise many of the characters described. The photographs are wonderful and in the best pawssible taste too. An ideal gift for a catophilic friend, or for yourself if you need a bit of a lift. Recommended reading!
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on 4 June 2014
If only the answer to what is the meaning of Life, the universe and everything wasn't 42! I'm sure that if it wasn't the title of this book would be the missing question and the answers it provides the true answers to that question. Jolly good buy, don't regret it all!
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on 19 March 2016
I bought this 30 years ago, and still adore it. I've recently bought it again as a present for a friend who's a cat-lover. It never fails to make me smile, and I love how many people pick my copy up and say how they didn't know cats paint...
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