Purrfect shot: Exhibit makes open call for kitty pics

Leap of faith: This image from the “Humble Cats” photo collection may inspire cat fanciers who wish to submit their own photos.
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Is your kitty ready for its closeup?

A Dumbo photo exhibition will showcase artsy feline photos this September — and your cat could be among the stars of the show! “Humble Cats: Photoville Edition,” part of the seventh annual Photoville festival returning to Brooklyn Bridge Park on Sept. 13–23, is looking for cat pictures that go beyond Lolcat memes and Facebook photos, said the show’s curator.

“Everybody makes jokes about cat photos and how they’re just memes,” said Jon Feinstein, “You see people talking on Facebook about how they will unfriend somebody if they post too many pictures of their cat.”

The exhibition looks to elevate people’s idea of how good a cat photo can be, said Feinstein, who published an online exhibit of cat photos in 2014, later collected as the book “Humble Cat: New Cats in Art Photography.” Feinstein’s favorite photographers inspired him to see cat pictures as more than just an Internet phenomenon, he said.

“So many of the most inspiring photographers for me have some amazing cat photos just lying around in their collection, or they’ve actually done a project about cats that is way more legitimate than a meme,” said Feinstein.

The exhibition in Brooklyn’s Front Yard will feature about 30 pictures displayed in a shipping container. Half of the photos will be highlights from Feinstein’s book and the other half will be submissions from the public, according the organizer of the festival.

“I think it’s going to be a really interesting mix of everyday people who really love their cats and want their cat to shine and then also professional photograph­ers,” said Sam Barzilay, co-founder of Dumbo’s United Photo Industries, which runs the fest.

The organizers have already received a whopping 100 submissions in the first week, so competition to get your kitty on display is fierce.

Barzilay’s advice is to have fun taking the picture, while also making it stand out for people who might not care about your fuzzy friend the way that you do.

“You know and love your cat, but for me as an audience member, this is the first time I’m seeing this cat, so it has to transcend that personal connection,” said Barzilay. “You have to take yourself out of the equation and think, ‘If I didn’t know this cat, would it make me laugh or think?’ ”

Feinstein said that cat fans should also look at his “Humble Cats” book or its online exhibition for inspiration .

Submit your cat photos at through Aug. 7.

The “Humble Cats” exhibit will be part of Photoville at Brooklyn Bridge Plaza (enter at Water Street and New Dock Street in Dumbo, Sept. 13–23. Free.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Updated 12:22 pm, July 31, 2018
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