In 2010, Brooklyn-based political artist and avid cat lover J. Morrison was inspired by the silly images from two of the earliest cat meme websites, LOLCats and I Can Has Cheezburger? Eager to insert some activism into his own artwork, he gradually started incorporating cats and text into his own work, crafting what would eventually become HOMOCATS, a cat-tastic art project “to fight phobias, propose equal rights, combat cultural stereotypes, challenge social norms” — and now “to resist Trump.”
His first drawing was one with cats and the words “We Are Tired of Homophobia,” an image “which unfortunately is still relevant eight years later,” Morrison says. Some of his earliest artw also placed cat heads on the bodies of muscular underwear models he found online.
He eventually made some MASC4CAT jockstraps — taken from the “masculine for masculine” phrase often seen on hookup apps and dating sites — with a cat’s face printed on the front of a white jockstrap. He saw the gear as a way to humorously comment on subdivision within an already small community.
He also published a zine under the HOMOCATS banner entitled Fuck the Internet as a commentary about gay men’s obsession with bodies and headless torsos in the digital age.
“As the project became more popular,” Morrison says, “HOMOCATS grew into its own line. In 2016 I created the Kittens Against Trump goods, which also included ‘Trump is Over, If you want it, Love, HOMOCATS’ taken from Yoko Ono’s iconic ‘War is Over.'”
Morrison now has a wide collection of printed HOMOCATS goods including T-shirts and prints that he has sold at various art and queer events like DragCon. He’ll also be selling them at this weekend’s DragCon NYC, as well as several book fairs in October and November.