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”.
- Olivia Hingley
- 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: A Kind of Love (Copyright @ Cato, 2022)
About the Author
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.