Ciou’s Siamese Cats

 

Ruben De Somer

 

Everybody knows that the impact of “those very special people” has been great throughout cultural history on all levels. The first time we discussed their impact on popular culture was in a short article on Roger Corman’s carnival of the dead.  However this time we will focus on a totally different topic, graphic art.

 

A couple of months ago a Franco-Belgian (born in Toulouse, France, living in Brussels) artist Ciou published her first book which was lovingly called “Chat’s Siamois”. Ciou’s artworks are cute and scary, a mixture between Alice in Wonderland and eerie night-mares. She paints with acrylic and ink and makes collage for the background. Her art is mainly influenced by her hobby which is collecting: animal skeletons, Vintage toys, specialty Bambi toys, taxidermy, tattoo and music. She is intrigued by primitive art, religious art, Japanese culture, Art nouveau, Symbolyst art, dolls, pin ups, cemeteries, and carnivals.

 

Chat siamois is a book written by Guillaume Bianco and published by Venus dea a small publishing company and collective of artistst and writers. Bianco based his story with the heroine Emmy Hyacinthe Muffin and her Siamese cat on ciou’s drawings which he molded into a more or less cohesive story about a young girl whose cat gives birth to a Siamese cat. The book is a scary descent into the weird world of ciou. The book is filled with creepy illustration, which in a way are kind of cute. The book ends with the decapitation of the cute Siamese cat and the burial of the head (kept in jar) at the cemetery. If you are interested in the whole story then I suggest you try and find it and buy it.

 

However “Chat Siamois/Siamese Cat” isn’t the only work where she touches the sideshow world. Many of her drawings and paintings feature mermaids, one eyed monsters, and many other weird creatures.

 

 

Illustration: when we were at a signing at the  undercover bookstore in Ghent we brought along a photograph of the Siamese twins of tamise and the protective sleeve of a photograph of the early

part of the 20th century. We asked her if she would be willing  to draw on the sleeve and this is what

she came up with.  

 

Illustration: book cover  (copyright venus dea/ ciou)

 

Illustration: back of cover (copyright venus dea/ ciou)

 


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