Gato is cat in Spanish. This print celebrates my commitment to interspecies friendships, especially with those creatures we call pets. This cat is one of the characters in a large-scale artwork that I completed in 2021 at the San Francisco Animal Care and Control Center, my largest public art project to date. I worked on the project for three years and over that time I was able to get to know this shelter and the creatures it cares for.
The cat was the largest creature in my art installation. I can't have a cat because I am allergic to them. But nevertheless, my imaginary cat friend is from outer space and represents different elements of the galaxy. The cat has a protective energy. I had a lot of fun playing with the colors for this cat and incorporating various textures and shapes from the public art piece.
Animals are a very important part of my social justice work. I love our animal relatives and I include them in my freedom work. We are losing biodiversity every single day because of the climate crisis, and I believe we have to unlearn the idea that we as humans are superior to other species. We have to dramatically shift our relationship to animals and do everything we can do to protect them, ALL animals, not just the ones we find cute. I celebrate all the four legged and our reptile relatives because I believe that capitalism, colonialism and white supremacy has normalized the culture in which we exploit animals for their bodies, and we destroy their habitats. That is why I’m plant-based, I don’t eat animals and I’m committed to celebrating them in my work so that we can have a different relationship to them.