Cat people rejoice. Jesse Carson Smigel's 10-foot-tall head of a feline will be installed at First street and Coolidge Ave in fall, reports Kristen Peterson:
The Las Vegas artist—known for his Grub-Baby rescue video, a cats-versus-Borg piece and other unconventional narratives—is sculpting the cat head with its tongue out as if it's cleaning its paw. Visitors stand in front and act out the illusion of being cleaned (or slobbered with love). “It’s human nature to expect a tactile experience,” Smigel says. “I want them to touch it, to interact with it, to get out that primal urge.”
Noteworthy is how the interactive street experience of taking photos completes the sculpture, according to the artist. Smigel's theatrical style is loved by locals and it's playful pastiche that plays off the civic and social cause concepts of public art itself. "I would rather appeal to the child inside of everyone," Smigel said to the Las Vegas Sun in 2010. "I'm not trying to give anyone a downer about oil spills or politicians."
ABOVE: James Turrell at Crystals monorail station.