When looking at old works of art, it's not uncommon to find a feline companion somewhere in the composition. Artist Galina Bugaevskaya (aka Cat Universe on Instagram), however, reimagines traditional portraits where cats are the stars. Her ongoing series features kitties donned in historical costumes and jewelry, posing as noblity.
Bugaevskaya has been creating her Cat Universe for over three years. The premise of the project is to place images of cats—usually via Photoshop—in unexpected situations. “I am inspired by their faces: funny, stern, curious—so different,” Bugaevskaya tells My Modern Met. “I adore non-standard photos and funny facial expressions, and I also love harsh frowning cats.”
In her series of “purrfect” portraits, she edits different felines into vintage oil paintings. To do this, she has to pair images of cats with the portraits that fit the most naturally—or with ones that are the most uncanny. In this way, she produces reimagined renderings of tabbies in flouncy pink gowns, tuxedo cats in royal garb, and more. “The main thing is that the facial expression fits the picture (or [the opposite], it does not fit absolutely, thereby causing an interesting funny dissonance),” Bugaevskaya continues. “In general, if the image after editing seems strange but natural, then I have achieved what I wanted.”
You can keep up with Bugaevskaya’s latest creations by following her on Instagram.
Artist Galina Bugaevskaya reimagines traditional nobility portraits with cats as the stars.
Each piece of her ongoing Cat Universe series places funny-faced felines in old paintings.
These cats seamlessly replace human figures, donning all the same historical costumes and jewelry.
The artist merges our furry little friends with the art in such a way that it’s almost as though she’s rewriting history.
Suddenly we’re left wondering what if all the King Jameses and Queen Elizabeths were actually Lord Fluffybottoms and Lady Sprinkles?
Alas, it’s just the clever work of a gifted artist with a whimsical sense of humor.
Galina Bugaevskaya: Instagram