Tell Your Cat I Said PSPSPS @ Greg Kucera Gallery
Joyful soft paintings 🌻
Published May 12, 2023
🕰 On display: May 18th – July 1st
📍 Greg Kucera Gallery: 212 Third Avenue South, Seattle
🚪 Open Tuesday – Saturday: 10:30 am – 5:30 pm
During the pandemic, cats became a huge part of artist Joey Veltkamp’s life. What started as taking in one persistent stray kitty soon turned into a brood of five after Veltkamp and his husband, artist Ben Gannon, also took in that kitty’s pregnant mate. After making residence in his heart, these cats are now popping up in Veltkamp’s work.
“So much of my artistic practice is really just documentation of my daily life,” Veltkamp told me over email. “When the cats showed up, I knew it was just a matter of time before they’d show up in my art.”
Veltkamp’s new show at Greg Kucera Gallery, Tell Your Cat I Said PSPSPS is composed of his elaborate and colorful quilts—“soft paintings” as he likes to call them—that are a loving ode to the felines in his life. In one soft painting, two cats are perched on the windowsill as hot pink, orange, and yellow rays of the sunset play out dramatically in front of them. In another, Veltkamp stitched the phrase “LIFE IS A CAT PARADE” inside a rainbow border and above silhouettes of five kitties standing on their hind legs as they dance, play instruments, and wear hats. But cats aren’t the only subjects in the show.
“We used to keep fresh-cut flowers from our yard all over the house. But so many things we grow are toxic to cats, so we finally just gave up and enjoy the flowers outside,” he said. “I really miss making the bouquets so I started making them again, but only in fabric this time.”
Veltkamp composed still lifes of purple alliums, red poppies, and sunflowers all beautifully arranged in vases. Together, TELL YOUR CAT I SAID PSPSPS is a joyful depiction of home and family that’s perfect for this bright, sunny season.
📸: Courtesy Joey Veltkamp | When I Feel Alive I Try to Imagine a Careless Life, a Scenic World Where the Sunsets Are All Breathtaking by Joey Veltkamp
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Jas Keimig is an arts and culture writer in Seattle. Their work has previously appeared in The Stranger, i-D, Netflix, and Feast Portland. They won a game show once and have a thing for stickers.