Giant Cats and other Wild Life in DTLA
The Poet's Eye
When you hear the word “Cats,” what comes to mind? The Sondheim musical? That soft bundle of fur, curled on your lap? Or maybe the yowling duo in the alleyway who awakened you last night at 2 am?
When I hear the word “Cats” I think of these strange, lurking felines who’ve popped up all over DTLA. Winston Street photographer/curator Stephen Zeigler told me that the enigmatic cats are the creation of “Wild Life,” an elusive L.A. artist whose whimsical aesthetic has intrigued me since I moved downtown three years ago.
“WL’s intention is for there to be nine cats that move from building to building around downtown,” Zeigler told me. “Each time they move they change color.”
So far, The wild cat has been spotted on top of a building at 4th and Broadway;
on top of Zeigler’s building at 118 Winston St.;
atop Angel City Brewery in the Arts District, on the roof of the American Hotel;
sunning itself above Pershing Square, and high up a mid-block building on Spring St., between 5th and 6th.
“I’ve helped Wild Life to move these creatures from location to location,” Zeigler said. “We’ve hoisted them sometimes up four stories, using makeshift rigging equipment.”
The cat is currently in its 7th incarnation, atop the Los Angeles Theater and can be seen from the alley on 6th St. Check him out before he’s on to his 8th life, somewhere else.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Poet/photographer Alexis Rhone Fancher is published in Best American Poetry, Rattle, Hobart, Verse Daily, The New York Times, Petrichor, The MacGuffin, Plume, Tinderbox, Diode, Nashville Review, Wide Awake, Poets of Los Angeles, Pirene’s Fountain, Cleaver, Glass, Rust + Moth, Duende, The American Journal of Poetry, and elsewhere. Her books include: How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen & other heart stab poems (Sybaritic Press, 2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (2015), Enter Here, (2017), and The Dead Kid Poems, (2019), and Junkie Wife (Moon Tide Press, 2018), an autobiographical chapbook chronicling Alexis’s first, disastrous marriage. She’s been published in over 60 anthologies, including the best-selling Nasty Women Poets (Lost Horse Press, 2017), Terrapin Books’ A Constellation of Kisses, (2019),and Antologia di poesia femminile americana contemporanea, (Edizioni Ensemble, Italia, 2018). Her photographs have been published worldwide, including the covers of Witness, Nerve Cowboy, Chiron Review, Heyday, and Pithead Chapel, and a spread in River Styx. A multiple Pushcart Prize, Best Short Fiction, and Best of the Net nominee, Alexis has been poetry editor of Cultural Weekly since late 2012. She and her husband live 20 miles outside of downtown L.A., in a small beach community overlooking the Pacific. They have an extraordinary view.