Any feline loving-individual would be hard-pressed to find a more adorable but original coffee book table than Arne Svenson’s Strays. This lovely book assembles portraits of abandoned kittens in all sorts of good-humored, cat poses.
Svenson’s unique approach depicts kittens completely disconnected from us, staring elsewhere oblivious to the pictorial. He achieves this by snapping the homeless cats when they are looking away from the camera. It is an engaging spin on the usual tug of cute appeal. Oh, and in case the title has got you concerned, the “strays” are all safe. The feline subjects are all secure and homed now with loving owners, and are strays no more.
Strays is on a limited edition run, with an initial 1,000 copies, and each one comes with a print that is ready for framing. On that score alone this book is well worth it. Svenson’s prints acquired elsewhere go for a much higher price tag, not to mention that they don’t come with any book. What’s more, a share of profits from the book’s sales is earmarked for donation to Animalkind, a “a non-profit organization, dedicated to the non-proliferation of unwanted felines through TNR (trap/neuter/return) and low cost spay/neuter options.”
Svenson’s Strays started at AnimalKind located in upstate New York where he shot a litter of five kittens. While photographing the brood, one kitten turned its head away. Svenson, the consummate fine-art photographer immediately knew that he had stumbled onto something special. “This was the portrait I wanted — a kitten who was more interested in the world around her than in me,” says Svenson as he shares the experience in the introduction to his book.
Strays comes with over 120 color photographs, and every copy of the limited-edition book is autographed by Svenson. It will be available on Nov. 1 at Siman Media Works. See pictures lifted from the book, Strays, here. Svenson is also the lensman that brought us Chewed, a book that delves into the life of toys that our pet dogs love to mangle.