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Cats Tattooing Other Cats Is The Greatest Thing You'll See Today

Cats Tattooing Other Cats Is The Greatest Thing You'll See Today image

Cats Tattooing Other Cats Is The Greatest Thing You'll See Today

Admittedly, it's not every day you get to see tattooed cats tattooing others cats. But thanks for this rather curious series by Japanese artist and Californian tattooist Kazuaki Horitomo, such absurdity is now a reality (in illustrated form at least).

Collectively known as 'Monmon Cats' (based on the old Japanese slang word for 'tattoos'), his paintings feature all kinds of felines carefully inked in all manner of traditional and elaborate Japanese tattoos. Horitomo has been inking these designs into individuals for over 20 years now, it's a style his technically proficient in both with a needle and brush.

In ancient Japan, tattoos were originally inked into the skin using the practice known as 'tebori'. The technique involves using long tapered tools, which were razor sharp and acted like small blades - the artist would then tap and scrap these into the skin. Painful indeed.

If you look closely enough at Horitomo's tattoo work, you'll notice that one of his cats actually have a tebori blade in their mouth - a tribute to his heritage and the traditional way of tattooing.

The finishing touch is how each painting looks as if it has been hanging on a temple wall for centuries. It's a deliberate effect that is all down to Horitomo's detailed knowledge of Japanese culture. Hanging scrolls (kakejiku) and woodblock prints (ukiyo-e) where the preferred method of displaying imagery and text from that era.

By painting his cats in this style, he's seamlessly tying together their aesthetic, tattoos and presentation into a single work that represents a shining tribute to creativity on display during the Edo period (1655–1663).

You can see more from the series on Instagram, prints are available and even a beautiful hardcover book.

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