Cats & Plants
Cats & Plants, the debut book from Chicago-based artist Stephen Eichhorn. The 152-page book includes more than 200 rich color images of Eichhorn’s curious cat collages, which
feature felines balancing plants (and sometimes shells or minerals) on their furry heads.
There are Calicos and cactuses, Siamese and succulents, and so much more.
In an essay in the book, arts writer Catherine Wagley traces Eichhorn’s development as
an artist and foray into cat collages, which started as an intermittent personal project.
“This weird other stuff,” Eichhorn calls this work, in which petals adorn a cat’s gleaming
eyes or cacti balance on tufts of white fur. But in an unexpected way, the cat pieces
loosened up his practice. “They were a stepping stone in the studio,” he says. The essay
also examines the online obsession with cats and explores cats’ place in art history.
In addition to the feline-and-flora works, which are presented as two-dimensional
collages and stand-up paper sculptures, the book includes Eichhorn’s “Shell Cat” series.
These collages show yellow cat eyes gleaming out from between clamshells, or a cat
squeezed into a conch shell, peering out. Spread across two pages, the cats appear to be
hiding their furry bodies inside a sleeker exterior, perhaps attempting to be less
adorable, more austere.