Big Cat Art

Recently I was out for an after dinner walk when I happened upon numerous piles of old furniture and boxes set along the curbside for bulk garbage pick up the next day. Usually I don’t pay much attention to things like this, but one of the boxes caught my attention because it was filled with framed art works and the sign “free – take one,” or something like that (as if one needs the go-ahead to pick out of someone’s garbage …?). At any rate, I was curious to see what kind of art was in there – the thought running through my head that every once in a while there’s a news article about someone finding a valuable art work in someone else’s garbage, with the person throwing it out not having any idea what they had on their hands.

So with my hope of discovering a lost Jackson Pollock, I took a look in the box. Whoever assembled this collection of pictures had a specific theme: big cats. There were pictures of lions, tigers, leopards, and cheetahs, about 12-15 in total. Most of them were images that were clearly for someone fascinated by big cats rather than any attempt at being art. But I pulled out and kept these two, because in a way, they did feel kind of artsy to me.

big cat art featuring a leopard and cheetahs

I like the leopard image on the left partially because of the way the black background removes the leopard from any sort of natural setting and creates a stark contrast with the black and brown spotted pattern of fur. There’s an overhead and upper left source of light that adds some drama to the image.

I think the image on the right is also supposed to be a leopard, with a mother tending to her cubs. However, the way the spots are portrayed in various parts of the body more closely resemble a cheetah, although the face doesn’t match a cheetah at all. If you’re like me, we need a little help in determining the difference between a leopard and a cheetah. But what I really like about this one is the shiny silver metallic background, which shifts the reflective glare based on where you stand in relation to the image. Sure, it’s a bit cheesy, and not something that one would find in an art museum, but whoever decided to pair an image of leopards with this crazy interactive background is an artist in my book! I might need to replace the glass since it has a minor crack and some scratches, but these two pieces are being added to my art collection … no doubt about it!

cheetah art featuring a mother cheetah and cubs

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