Nicolas Cage has a cat. The cage and that cat inspired an art gallery. The internet has never been better.
This art will be on display at CatCon, a conference entirely devoted to the creature Al Gore had in mind when he invented our beloved global network of connected computers. This year’s event, which is similar to Comic-Con for cats, takes place October 1-2 in Pasadena, California.
“Nicolas Cage is the subject of the artist’s dreams — he’s a cult, a camper and he’s a DGAF,” said CatCon founder Susan Michaels, who is also founder and curator of Cat Art Show, a biennial exhibition of cat-focused creations that sponsors Cage Gallery. “Cats have many of the same characteristics, so why not combine the two and celebrate it on the canvas?”
Seven artists bring brush strokes and pixels to CatCon for Uncaged: The Unbearable Weight of Genius Cat Art.
Celebrating the versatile actor and the black velor adopted by Merlin includes Brian Hoffman’s Catstor Troy, 11 inches by 14 inches, hand-decorated with diamond dust, embossed, signed and framed in a decorative antique setting. The piece—a tribute to 1997’s runaway villain Cage Face/Off—shows the actor’s head over the body of an old cartoon girl, and a small blue bow in his hair. He is surrounded by three cartoon cats.
“It’s definitely weird and scary, but heartwarming and fun if you love Cage and cats,” says the Boston-based designer, illustrator, and printmaker. “Initially the piece was Cage sitting next to the magic mushroom in homage to Alice in Wonderland and her cat Dina, and also on one occasion Nick Cage allegedly took the mushroom with his cat.”
Vanessa Stockard’s Oil, Wild at Art, depicts the actor embracing a life-size black cat with yellow eyes and a matching yellow wig. I asked Jet, my black yellow-eyed cat, to swipe the piece.
“I find the separation of cat and human in Stockard’s work reductive and resonant,” Jett said. “Has anyone seen a bird that I can kill?”
Cage’s plump face makes him a natural star in both the panels and his many memes.
You may have seen gifs of him from the 1997 action thriller Con Air, his long hair blowing in the wind, his eyes half-closed, and a happy smile on his sunny face as he walks toward freedom after a long sentence. You may also have seen his face meme superimposed on countless pictures of cats. It is fitting that Cage has been a lifelong cat lover and calls Merlin his best friend. “He loves calling,” Cage He says in this interview. “Sometimes he would jump into bed and hug me, you know? I’d actually think she was my wife.”
Art in Uncaged will be displayed for sale in person at Cat Con and online via the Cat Art Show. Ten percent of the proceeds will benefit three cat-related charities, and hopefully this new type of Cage-cat will benefit all types of meme.