Back in the winter of 1949, in the heart of New York City, a young marketing whiz and budding photographer by the name of Walter Chandoha had a fateful encounter.
Picture this: it's a snowy night, and in the midst of the winter chill, he stumbles upon a stray kitten, shivering in the snow. What does Walter do? He scoops up that little furball, tucks it snugly into his coat, and takes it home. Little did he know that this chance meeting would shape the course of his entire life.
He named the kitten Loco, and it wasn't long before Loco became Walter's muse, his furry source of inspiration. He pointed his camera at this adorable feline friend and was so captivated by the results that he couldn't stop there. He started photographing more kittens from a local shelter, and that, friends, marked the beginning of a truly extraordinary career – one that would span an incredible seven decades.
Now, this was way before the days of the Internet and the hashtag #catsofinstagram. But guess what? Walter Chandoha was already enchanting the world with his adorable and oh-so-fluffy subjects. From ads to greeting cards, jigsaw puzzles to pet-food packaging, his images were everywhere. What set his work apart was the genuine affection he had for these creatures, his unwavering work ethic, and a flawless photography technique that was nothing short of art.
Moreover, Chandoha had a glamorous lighting technique that made each cat's fur stand out in sharp relief, and it would go on to define the visual language of animal portraiture for generations. He was a true trailblazer, and his influence even reached legendary artists like Andy Warhol, who took inspiration from Chandoha's charming cat portraits for his own illustrated cat book.
Now, in "Cats," we get a peek into the archives of this genre-defining artist. It's like a journey through time, filled with vibrant color studio shots, candid black-and-white street photography, images from vintage cat shows, heartwarming photos that feature his children alongside the feline friends, and so much more.
This isn't just a tribute to our adorable and beguiling feline companions; it's also a tip of the hat to a remarkable photographer who left us in 2019 at the age of 98. Walter Chandoha's compassion shines through in every single frame, and his legacy lives on.
9.5 x 1.25 x 12.5 inches