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CATS & PLANTS BY STEPHEN EICHHORN

// An entire book about your favourite pets

AN INTERVIEW BY SOFIA TIEPPO

Let’s face it, one of the biggest obsessions of our society, are definitely kittens.
They constantly break the internet with hilarious videos that shows all their cuddliness. 
It is nowadays a phenomenon not only for old crazy and lonely women
– the famous italians “gattare” -, but for all of us.
Everyone have a reason to talk about cats or to have fun with them.
Some people can draw inspiration from it.
One of those is Stephen Eichhorn: he loves cats and plants the same way, so much he decided to realize some collages to combine them.
All these works became a book calls Cats&Plants, in which cactus, flowers and shells adorn lovely kittens, and together are just beautiful.
If you are a puppies lover, don’t miss our cuddly chat!


Sofia. Hi Stephen. Can you tell us who you are? Describe yourself and your work.
Stephen.
I make small to large scale hand cut collage. Much of my process is quiet, it’s about gathering and cutting which is a meticulous process.
I see making collage as a form of mark making. It’s a lot like drawing but instead of series of pencil marks, I am layering cut pieces.  I think it would be more of a jump if I was working digitally but my hand is still very present in the collage making process.
Within the past couple years it has come full circle and I started making sculptural work as well. The two modes of working inform each other- I wouldn’t have come to the same conclusions about my sculptural work without the collage work.

Sophia. Let’s talk about the book Cats&Plants. Where did this idea comes from? How did you realize that?
Stephen. 
Around 2008 / 2009 while searching for source material for other collages I would occasionally come across cat books. I had a growing collection of houseplant books and I noticed that the cats had been photographed in similar way to the plants. There was a quirkiness and humor to the still life compositions of the houseplants that the cat photos shared – like the cats and plants were domestic objects.
The shell cats, as well as the stand-ups, are more recent projects (I started making both around the same time in 2015). I had found some shell / oceanic life books that had the same still life vibe as the houseplants and cats.

Sofia. In the book, cats are adorned by plants: is this something to annoy them or to make them happy?
Stephen. I guess they are adorned to make them happy, it’s not something I’ve thought too much about. I would saw they either coexist with the adornment growing on them or that the plant life adornment gathers around/on them cosmically.

Sofia. According to you, why are we totally obsessed by these furry friends?
Stephen. 
They’re wonderful, affectionate, weird, hilarious friends.

Sofia. Last but not least: do you like puppies?
Stephen. 
I LOVE puppies! My partner and I have two toy poodles, Lulu and Francis.


All images courtesy of Stephen Eichhorn.

Meet Stephen here!

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