Bleak houses, cute creatures

By GREG COOK  |  August 26, 2010

Apart from nature photography, the last great animal art may be Winslow Homer's hunting scenes of more than a century ago. I wonder whether our cutesy relationship with our pets hasn't sapped the gravity that animal portraits need — whether that isn't why so much pet art tends toward comedy or schmaltz.

Van Sant's The Trouble with Tribbles . . . is that she's gone is a shrine to a missed kitty. It features pink heart baskets filled with white fur and offering cat toys: little bells, a clothespin, a computer key. In the center is an unsettling pink knit totem with odd horn-like ears, whiskers, and a single cyclops doll eye. Van Sant finds the seam between the substantial and the cute as she begins to probe the deep reservoir of feeling lying between the two.

Read Greg Cook's blog at gregcookland.com/journal.

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  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Raul Gonzalez, Arts, CULTURE,  More more >
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