Bad Hat Cats

Radioactive Cats, Sandy Skoglund

This photo of a photo was taken at the Saint Louis Art Museum. I am not a cat fancier. I do not like cats. Being allergic to them, probably doesn’t help. I was initially drawn to this art, because it portrayed cats in an eerie, otherworldly way. I especially liked, after reading the following writeup that this was the artist’s intent. This work is part of the museum’s permanent collection.

Meticulous in construction yet enigmatic in meaning, Sandy Skoglund’s images blend sculpture, painting, installation photography. Her work includes ordinary interiors that are frequently invaded by an over-abundance of animals in exaggerated colors. According to Skoglund, the purpose of Radioactive Cats “was to undermine the stereotype in our culture of the cute, domesticated pet. The cats are meant to dominate the scene as survivors in a post-nuclear situation because they’ve adapted by turning green.”

Ms. Skoglund has repeated these themes in many of her works. Green cats have reappeared and have also been replaced with red foxes, blue dogs and in her work Gathering Paradise, black squirrels. No LOL cats here, or even any Irish green St. Pat cats. Skoglund’s Radioactive Cats, are so popular that they must have eighteen half-lives.

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