Like Artist, Like Animal: Who Let The Cats Out?


I have a little theory when it comes to human/animal relationships. Here, let me test it out: I would like you to create a mental image of your favorite animal––yep, the one that interests you the most. Got it? Okay, now think of the reasons why this animal happens to be your favorite: why does this one stand out to you compared to all the other animals?


Those two questions were the test and here are the results: chances are the animal you have chosen is your favorite because it reminds you a lot about yourself. Right? You see yourself in this animal; its behavioral characteristics feel familiar to your own. But the truth is that you are not––I am willing to assume––specialized in ethology (the branch of zoology concerned with the scientific and objective understanding of animal behavior) and the reasons you have are really your own perceptions towards your favorite animal’s behavior. In describing an animal that you feel strongly attached to, what you are really doing is describing behavioral characteristics you find in yourself. We tend to relate to things in the external world that reflect the characteristics of the internal one. Our pets, the anthropomorphized animals par excellence, are certainly not the exception.


On the first issue of "Like Artist, Like Animal," we featured an artist & a gallerist with their adorable pet dogs. In this latest installment, we talk to artist Lorella Palenia painter with a firm handshake—about "Laila," her celebrity cat (hey, over a thousand likes on a facebook page don't come easy!) And Hannah Nelson-Teutsch—an artist who likes to call things as they are—introduces us to "Cat," her "batshit nuts" cat. You might recognize Hannah, one of our very own BAPs reporters, from some of our popular articles like "Street Art 4 Sale," "Bananarama" and "Are You Having A Laugh?"—and this time she's letting Cat out of the bag!