Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Red Chestnut No. I" by John Platt

The imagery in this print seems so surreal, the plants so exotic and the cat like some mythical creature, even though the scene is literally quite mundane. In my head I hear the birds' shrill call as they dive across vertical streaks of vivid blue. I can't tell if the crouching cat is preparing to pounce or cowering with concern. Maybe a little of both. He seems safe enough under his monstrous leaf canopy.

The angle of the perspective is fantastic. I'm made to feel so low to the ground, yet focused on the sky. Up is what matters. The flowers rise and reach up, the cat strains to look above. So much blue sky, so high that the tops of trees rest at the bottom of the composition, and even the clouds are confined to the bottom third.

All this length emphasizes the birds' descent. There's those avian shrieks again. I'm sure now, that cat is scared. He'd be crazy to not feel a little fear with two, sharp beaks cruising in his general direction at the full speed of gravity's pull and then some. Maybe this is an image from another world. Planet of the birds, where felines hide in gardens under the terrifyingly immense and unpredictable blue.

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