A Striking Face Composition of a Cat and a Woman
Wanda Wulz – an Italian photographer, you might recognize her famous work, Io + gatto aka Cat and I. Do those sharp eyes belong to a cat or a woman? How well blended the image of her family cat and herself is amazing and unforgettable. Who was this lady that left this incredible picture for us?
Wanda was born in 1903 and naturally got into the photography business. Her grandfather, Giuseppe Wulz opened the photographic studio in Trieste, Italy in the 1868 and it was a well-known family business in the 1900s.
The Wulz studio became a meeting place for the artists and writers of Trieste in the 1920s.
Wanda and her sister Marion first worked with their father, Carlo as models and assistants.
From 1928, they began to manage photographic studio themselves. Two beautiful and talented sisters remained close to the other into their adulthood.
Embodiment of Avant-garde Spirit
Wanda was the only one in her family who tried to find her own style in photography. She was fascinated by the Bragaglia brothers’ photography.
Wanda began to experiment with photomontages and created dynamic pictures with the method of Photodynamism. It is the process of high-key lighting and long exposures to capture sudden gestures in a way that depicted movement as a reality.
She joined the futuristic movement  in 1931 when she met Filippo Marinetti (Italian poet and editor – the founder of the futuristic movement) . She created the striking image of half cat and half human, Io piu gatto (Cat and I) around this period. In the late ’30s, Wanda abandoned futurism and kept working on with her sister until 1981.
What would be the most impressive part of an animal body? Eyes, you shall say. Wild animals are almost always alert and so do their eyes. Why we feel so much energy from their eyes it may be due to the reason they always in the arena of survival.
Those lights from their eyes give you an impression of the precious moment of life itself. But with Wanda’s work, there are many more qualities rather than just catching wild animal’s eyes.
Combined pictures of Wanda’s cat’s face and hers make this image sensual, confident and mysterious. Once you see it, those sharp eyes never let you loose and keep provoking something inside you.
She must have found something similar between her and her cat. As a photographer with an experimental mind, she merged herself with her cat in a picture to see how much effect it could have on the viewers.
Wanda’s attempt succeeded, maybe more than she expected. Once you see it, those sharp eyes never let you loose and keep provoking something inside you.
Change of Position (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
ITALIAN FUTURISM (Guggenheim)
Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (Wikipedia)
Also published on Medium.