For the LOL of cats
If there's one thing the internet's good for, it's pictures of cats. To honour the continuing phenomenon, a new exhibition at The Photographers' Gallery aims to lend the trend of cat photography and internet memes some gravity, and attempt to bring it in line with the world of more serious photography.
Cats have been dominating the internet for quite some time now in various incarnations, whether it be the famous box-loving feline Maru (show above), who is the subject of two books, or the ongoing cat memes, including cat scanning, cat breading, and cat shaming.
Cat Scan, 2008. Copyright Schotb. Courtesy The Photographers' Gallery
Cat #1681, Lily. Copyright Kathy Bengston, infinitecat.com. Courtesy The Photographers' Gallery
It turns out this fascination with photographing cats isn't a new thing, and new exhibition For The LOL of Cats at The Photographers' Gallery aims to show current photography alongside historical series. For example there's The Brighton Cats, taken by Harry Pointer in the 1870s, as well as Thurston Hopkins' photographs from the 50s entitled London Cats, which gives the cats their own captions, and seems to be an early version of the internet's infamous LOLcats. One of the aims of the exhibition is to trace current photographic trends back to their original sources, mapping the starting point of many of the current memes.
Untitled, photo by Cooper Cat. Copyright Michael Cross. Courtesy of the owner and The Photographers' Gallery
Cooper Cat. Copyright Michael Cross. Courtesy The Photographers' Gallery
Nancy Bean. Copyright Christian Allen. Courtesy The Photographers' Gallery.
The exhibition even includes photographs taken by cats themselves, including Cooper and Nancy Bean, who have both achieved some recognition.
Stray Cat, Kabukicho, 2012. Copyright Toru Umeda. Courtesy the artist and The Photographers' Gallery
The show, whilst feeling somewhat frivolous, does nonetheless pose some questions about what exactly photography's relationship is to the culture of online memes, and how the two can evolve together. That aside, everyone loves photos of cats, right?
For the LOL of Cats continues from today until January 16, at The Photographers' Gallery in London.
CR for the iPad
Read in-depth features and analysis plus exclusive iPad-only content in the Creative Review iPad App. Longer, more in-depth features than we run on the blog, portfolios of great, full-screen images and hi-res video. If the blog is about news, comment and debate, the iPad is about inspiration, viewing and reading. As well as providing exclusive, iPad-only content, the app will also update with new content throughout each month. Try a free sample issue here
CR in Print
In our October print issue we have a major feature on the rise of Riso printing, celebrate the art of signwriting, examine the credentials of 'Goodvertising' and look back at the birth of D&AD. Rebecca Lynch reviews the Book of Books, a survey of 500 years of book design, Jeremy Leslie explains how the daily London 2012 magazine delivered all the news and stories of the Games and Michael Evamy explores website emblemetric.com, offering "data-driven insights into logo design". In addition to the issue this month, subscribers will receive a special 36-page supplement sponsored by Tag celebrating D&AD's 50th with details of all those honoured with Lifetime Achievement awards plus pieces on this year's Black Pencil and President's Award-winners Derek Birdsall and Dan Wieden. And subscribers also receive Monograph which this month features Rian Hughes' photographs of the unique lettering and illustration styles of British fairgrounds
Please note, CR now has a limited presence on the newsstand at WH Smith high street stores (although it can still be found in WH Smith travel branches at train stations and airports). If you cannot find a copy of CR in your town, your WH Smith store or a local independent newsagent can order it for you. You can search for your nearest stockist here. Alternatively, call us on 020 7970 4878 to buy a copy direct from us. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 970 4878 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine.
Pretty awesome to see how much cat photography has grown in popularity. I wonder what will be the next thing.
kawayi cat - love
Great Job. Photographing cats is never easy but you captured them perfectly. Bravo!
Well, William Wegman gave dogs artistic license. So why not cats?
|What makes a great image? CR's Photo Annual judge Gemma Fletcher shares her favourite work|
|Rebranding the YMCA|
|Pelican Books: an unrivalled online reading experience|
|Crafts Council launches Education Manifesto|