Gary Baseman’s cat art goes on show in Beijing

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The art of American contemporary artist Gary Baseman returned to China during the National Day holiday with the exhibition "Nine Lives," featuring his longtime companion and creative collaborator Blackie the Cat.

Gary Baseman's cat art goes on show in Beijing
A photograph of Gary Baseman and Blackie the Cat on display in the "Nine Lives" exhibition alongside art works inspired by the cat, Sept. 30, 2022. [Photo courtesy of Wrong Gallery]

The exhibition kicked off on Oct. 1 and will run until Nov. 27 at the Wrong Gallery in Beijing’s 798 Art District. With dozens of original drawings and paintings, newly presented videos and large-scale installations, it offers a peek into the world of the famous black cat that inspired not only Baseman, but also his fans and admirers. 

Gary Baseman's cat art goes on show in Beijing
Chinese art critic Lu Rongzhi poses for a photo in front of an art work by Gary Baseman during an advance viewing in Beijing, Sept. 30, 2022. [Photo courtesy of Wrong Gallery]

"Nine lives" refers to the idea that cats can make lucky escapes from dangerous situations. Blackie started out life as a stray before finding a permanent home with Baseman in 2006, according to the exhibition’s introduction. 

For years until his passing in 2020, Blackie offered inspiration and moral support to Baseman as he completed numerous projects in fine art, illustration, performance art, fashion, toy design and film.

Gary Baseman's cat art goes on show in Beijing
Photos of Blackie the Cat on display at the "Nine Lives" exhibition in Beijing, Sept. 30, 2022. [Photo courtesy of Wrong Gallery]

Baseman once said: "I've never been closer to another living soul than Blackie the Cat. His magical brilliance transformed me. He taught me how to be a better human."

Gary Baseman's cat art goes on show in Beijing
Guests visit the "Nine Lives" exhibition in Beijing during an advance viewing, Sept. 30, 2022. [Photo courtesy of Wrong Gallery]

The artist personally designed and curated the exhibition, offering an emotional journey that celebrates the beauty of the bittersweetness of life. 

Known for creating works that explore the human condition, the multifaceted artist, illustrator, designer, and writer of the Emmy and BAFTA award-winning TV series "Teacher's Pet," bridges the worlds of popular culture and fine art to honor the life and lessons learned from Blackie the Cat.

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