Spoke Art's freshly opened space at 804 Sutter Street in San Francisco is set to be christened this weekend by artist Casey Weldon. "Meow Brow" showcases new work that takes on the familiar cliché of the adorable kitten, a trope that Weldon has perverted by adding extra sets of eyes to give viewers nauseating double-vision. The gallery chose to celebrate the expansion by coupling Weldon's solo exhibition with a group show next door that centers on feline internet phenom Lil Bub (word is, the dough-eyed "perma-kitten" is even set to make an appearance at the opening).
From Grumpy Cat to Happy Cat, the explosive popularity of "Lolcats" warrants at least a nod from the fine art establishment. Weldon's surrealistic, illustrative style flips the genre on its head, using an adorable pet to give viewers the heebie-jeebies. The effect of staring at one of the four-eyed animals is not unlike the eye strain caused by mindless web trawling, and Weldon is skillful enough to weave all this meaning into innocent, Instagram-style tableaus.
The title "Meow Brow" riffs on the notion of "low brow" art, a label that the artist implicitly challenges with thoughtful snapshots of mutant kitties. Both exhibitions open with a public reception on Saturday, 7 September 2013 and will run through the 28th. Lil Bub's meet-and-greet will happen at the gallery from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. on Saturday, with tickets available through Eventbrite.