Cats have already taken over the Internet, and now they're headed for the art world. But this isn't some online meme, like the tumblr that puts cats into old famous paintings. No, a new exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art will heavily feature our feline friends as cultural pieces of art—and it's not alone.
The Met's exhibit, titled "Balthus: Cats and Girls—Paintings and Provocations," features the paintings of Balthus, the French modern artist and self-titled "Thirteenth King of Cats." Balthus basically painted in the 20th century what is now the entire purpose and content of the internet: cats and girls. These cats may be cute, but their primary function in his works was as a voyeur, peeking under suggestively-positioned girls' skirts to see their, well, cats, to put it nicely.
(Balthus, Thérèse Dreaming, 1938, oil on canvas. Courtesy the artist and Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection 1998.)
Hence the "Provocations" part of the exhibit's title. So it's no surprise that his art is making a comeback, the first U.S. exhibition of his works in 30 years. The Met's exhibit also coincides with the release of the book Balthus and Cats, written by a friend of the now-deceased Balthus.