Using airbrush, acrylic and collage, Cato produces cinematic snapshots of daily life

The London-based artist and musician creates work that reflects his own identity while simultaneously “conjuring up forms from our collective imagination”.

31 January 2023


In Cato’s eclectic artworks, life passes by at a steady yet energetic pace; a figure reads the newspaper while getting his haircut by the barber, a painter takes a long drag on a cigarette before starting on an empty canvas, and two people contentedly jam together on a guitar and trumpet. Seeing such evocative, enigmatic snapshots, it’s not hard to see how Cato strives for a “cinematic” feel through his work, crafting a recognisable “sense of story and character” wherever possible.

Applying a number of different methods and materials to his work – acrylic, airbrush and collage – Cato also sources inspiration from a wide pool of influences. He cites Picasso and Botero for their penchant for distorted bodies evident in his oversized heads and hands; Kerry James Marshall and Romare Bearden for their energetic scenes replicated in Cato’s bustling street sequences; and Frank Dorrey, whose airbrushed faces are a clear influence on Cato’s. But, while Cato may have a rich pool of influence, his attuned eye and layered, creative collage work results in something truly unique.


Cato: Barbershop (Copyright @ Cato, 2022)


Cato: The Block (Copyright @ Cato, 2022)


Cato: Woof (Copyright @ Cato, 2022)


Cato: The Studio (Copyright @ Cato, 2022)


Cato: Black Moon Sketch (Copyright @ Cato, 2022)


Cato: 12 Portraits (Copyright @ Cato, 2022)

Cato: Black Moon (Copyright @ Cato, 2022)

Cato: Zone (Copyright @ Cato, 2021)

Hero Header

Cato: A Kind of Love (Copyright @ Cato, 2022)

Share Article

About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English Literature and History, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.