Nouvellegamine’s piece “Crazy Cat Man” has a subtle hilarity to it. First, the cleverness. The cats form the gentleman’s hair and his beard. There’s an oddball sense of reality here, but that’s not the crazy part. The craziness appears when you step back and notice the man’s comfort amongst these cats. His serene gaze. “Crazy Cat Man” needs these lazy felines on him to be whole – he is in fact, flat-out crazy. I can’t help but see a Van Gogh inspired self-portrait in “Crazy Cat Man.” Van Gogh, another man considered crazy, albeit for reasons different than wearing a cat toupee.
“Crazy Cat Man” is all soft color. A warm and laconic Sunday afternoon tint to the design. You get drawn into those eyes before it hits you, “Oh damn. Cat beard!”
The structuring of the cats is perfect as well. The cat’s tail hits his lip line just right, paws across his face just enough to be funny, but not so much so the design is pure joke. It’s brilliant in its simplicity, and the artist was smart enough to keep the focus on creating a quality piece as opposed to a flat out laugh riot.
To broaden the interpretation of “Crazy Cat Man” to the proper crazy extreme that it should go, you can view the man and the cats as one single being. Man with arms, legs, and cats. Furry appendages. In this vision his soul appears – his quiet eyes, the floppy cats and the white cat in his lap asleep, peaceful. Now, this might sound crazy, but possibly the glowing ghost-like cat fast asleep in his lap is in fact, his soul.
And there it is, “Crazy Cat Man” just got real.