Week XII Artist Interview- Ashley Sharpe

This might sound very strange, but I have a horrible fear of cats. It was so bad that at one point in my life (admittedly very recently), I used to have mental breakdowns and break down in tears when I saw a stray cat dart through the streets at night. More than once, I’ve curled up into the fetal position while babysitting my cousin when her cat got a little too close to me. How embarrassing is it to cry in a ball on the couch while a five-year-old pats you on the back and says “It’s okay, it’s just my cat. He won’t hurt!”

Needless to say, this fear was incredibly unusual and irrational. Neither of my parents can recall me ever having a bad childhood experience from cats, but somehow in adulthood, I couldn’t even look at a picture of a cat online without freezing for a moment (ironically, the internet is just full of cats these past two years).

This week in the Art Gallery, I wandered around aimlessly into all the galleries as I would any other week. To my surprise, I walked straight into Ashley Sharpe’s exhibit full of cats!! Luckily for me, I looked to my immediate left and saw this print of very colorful cat heads that was tastefully crafted into something more than just a photograph of a cat. I realized then that this gallery had the intention of being playfully silly by portraying cats in different ways, but it did so in a colorful and abstract way that eased me into the idea of staring at a bunch of cats.

Ironically, I’ve concluded that I was impressed by Sharpe’s printmaking and that I’m definitely capable of conquering such an irrational fear. It’s strange how easily I decided to stop obsessing over how scary cats are, but I’m glad I did! Big thanks to the artist!

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