Svetlana Petrova has found her inspiration in her tabby ginger cat, Zarathustra (someone has been reading Nietzsche), and released him to full-on invade over 150 classical paintings. Inspired by his crazy cat eyes, voluptuous curves (which really are quite Renaissance), and endearing ginger color, Petrova has modified the great art works of the past to situate a new inhabitant. Of course, she did not directly modify them, because then they would both be in jail, but she has photoshopped these paintings to remodel them into modern retellings, refreshed by Zarathustra, who has, according to some, “improved” these timeless classics.
Petrova adopted Zarathustra, her mother’s beloved cat, after her mother’s death. She believes that it was Zarathustra who saved her from the depression following her loss. The love that her mother gave Zarathustra, Petrova recounts, developed the cat’s sensitive personality, which gave him an artistic edge. He loved posing for photos and performances, so she gave him the space to become an artist alongside her. In the midst of today’s obsession with cats, especially on the Internet, Zarathustra and Svetlana have swooped in to entertain us and reintroduce us to art history, appropriating some of it for the eyes of the modern audience.