Dinca — contemporary art blog

Big Cat Artwork II

big cat artwork

The big cat artwork of Barbara A. Keith creates a world beyond sensory perception.  For one to fully absorb Keith’s art — and the multiple-layered concepts of Keith’s art — one must enable extra sensory perception.

Keith’s art certainly contrasts that of Karl Bang (see Vol. I of Big Cat Artwork), for Bang’s brazen approach portrays big cats in a baroque fashion; ostentatious best describes Bang’s work; Bang glamorized his big cats, whereas Barabara A. Keith’s big cat art harshly contrasts that of Bang.  Keith’s work is classicist, obstructionist, formalist, and, according to some critics, Keith’s work occasionally approaches a hyper-realist or photo-realist classification. However, Keith has a reputation for deliberate big cat displacement — the result is a shockingly unnatural, multifarious bevy of big cats — and, it is with these groupings that Keith’s work has been categorized as surrealist.

With great pleasure, Dinca proudly presents Big Cat Artwork Vol. II: Six Masterworks from Barabara A. Keith. Enjoy.

“Forest Jewels” by Barbara Keith

“A Baker’s Dozen”

Big Cat Species: Assorted big cats.

Details: Watercolor and colored pencil 22×30


Big Cat Species: Puma, aka Mountain Lion, aka Cougar (Puma concolor)
Details: Pastel on a 19×25 sandpaper



Big Cat Species: Lynx (lynx lynx)

Details: Pastel on a 19×25 sandpaper


“Feline Rhapsody”

Big Cat Species: Various species

Details: Colored Pencil & pastel on 22×28 format


“Noble Heritage”

Big Cat Species: Various species (note the surrealist qualities)

Details: Colored Pencil & pastel on 22×30 format



Big Cat Species: Various species (once again, Keith inadvertently creates a surreal sense of displacement)

Details: Colored Pencil & pastel on 22×30 format

Artist’s Statement & Bio:

Born 1946 in Cleveland Ohio, I started drawing at age 4 (mostly stick figures.. but it was fun). Attended the usual schools that you must and graduated HS in 1964 on a Sunday in June. Started at Cooper School of Art the following Monday! Some summer vacation! Did NOT graduate from that.. quit 6 months before because I didn’t want to be a fashion illustrator (should have stayed and finished, but at 19…) Moved to New York in 1967 for a job with Pan Am out of JFK and met first husband there. Had 2 kids and began drawing after an hiatus of about 8 years. Got into wildlife because I discovered there was no market for portraiture – nobody had any money! So I started doing anything at that point then noticed that I was doing more predators than anything else. That’s when I started zeroing in on the big cats. There is so much color you can throw into them, and the more color you add, the more alive they begin to look. I especially love doing the eyes. I’ve had people say that I should work smaller but then I would lose all that wonderful detail. So, I’ve been back in the art world since 1978. Had a number of one woman shows when in New York and even won a first place ribbon in one show. Quite a thrill! This year I’ve been really busy! I’ve done pieces in scratchboard, pastel, colored pencil, graphite, charcoal, pen and ink, watercolor, felt tip marker and my first oil in almost 20 years!

07 Jul 2009 Author: Andrew Rosinski Categories: Art Tags: Comments

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