Louis Wain - Watch him go gloriously insane!

"Louis Wain was born in London’s Clerkenwell district in 1860. He spent his life doing what he loved: drawing cats. Wain’s early work, while strange to some, is dominated by fanciful imagery of cats dressed in human clothes or engaged in human activity. Considering that much of his work was political cartooning and illustrating for children’s books, the early work seems an adequate representation of his pre-schizophrenic period. Wain continued drawing cats for newspapers and children’s books until he fell victim to schizophrenia in 1917 at the age of 57." You can watch him go gloriously insane through some of his later images. I would be horrified if I ever saw things as he did towards the end.

"During the onset of his disease at 57, Wain continued to paint, draw and sketch cats, but the focus changed from fanciful situations, to focus on the cats themselves."

"Characteristic changes in the art began to occur, changes common to schizophrenic artists. Jagged lines of bright color began emanating from his feline subjects. The outlines of the cats became severe and spiky, and their outlines persisted well throughout the sketches, as if they were throwing off energy."

"Soon the cats became abstracted, seeming now to be made up of hundreds of small repetitive shapes, coming together in a clashing jangles of color that transform the cat into something resembling an Eastern diety."

"The abstraction continued, the cats now being seen as made up by small repeating patterns, almost fractal in nature. Until finally they ceased to resemble cats at all, and became the ultimate abstraction, an indistinct form made up by near symmetrical repeating patterns."


TheIdleReceptionist said...

Wow, those pictures are even creepier knowing they spawn from the mind of a schizo!

Dr. Fong said...

I don't know about you, but I have always found cat number 3 the most startling and intriguing.