A Japanese contemporary artist is winning love on social media for turning cats into royalties in their oil paintings.
Tokuhiro Kawai, a surrealist, draws inspiration from the Renaissance style of painterly technique, using fantastical elements to convey dream-like visuals.
“Kawai approaches work on the now fragile bond between story and picture to bring the two into reunion. Since gods and faith are less related to our modern society, Kawai complements the theme with his own imagination,” the artist’s Gallery Gyokuei page reads. “Kawai’s painting is always an illustration without chapters with classical technique portraying a story of modern lives.”
According to The Great Cat, Kawai’s favorite subject is cats, where he “represents them as gods and conquerors who are sometimes power hungry.”
Kawai was first inspired by his cat Piko, a mixed breed cat that was similar to a Scottish Fold, he told NextShark. Kawai had Piko when he was 17 to 36, with the cat living a total of 19 years, “a long life for a cat,” he said.
Kawai also had a second cat named Chiko, who lived to 16 years old. Piko and Chiko were the only two cats Kawai has ever owned. Sadly, he currently doesn’t have any cats.
Kawai also told NextShark that he draws inspiration from Renaissance painters Jan van Eyck, who was on his art class textbook when he first started oil painting, and Raffaello Santi. “I use his composition as reference still now,” Kawai said.
Check out the his oil paintings of regal cats below:
1. “Fantasy of a Pet Cat”
2. “Livelihood of Cat”
3. “Bird and Actindia”
4. “Fairies in the Garden”
5. “Hallucination of Pet Cats to be in Contact”
6. “Cat That Seems It Put Boots On It”
7. “Captor Who Becomes It Ignorantly”
8. “Each Idea”
9. “Idea of a Certain Cat”
10. “I am a Cat”
11. “Person Who Becomes It Ignorantly”
12. “Thinking Thoughts Smolder”
Feature Images via Tokuhiro Kawai