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Cat Jacket Artist Hosting 'First Annual Cat Purrrty' at Westbeth

By Danielle Tcholakian | September 21, 2016 5:32pm
 SuZen, left, and actress-comedienne Annabelle Gurwitch, right, model the JacCAT.
SuZen, left, and actress-comedienne Annabelle Gurwitch, right, model the JacCAT.
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WEST VILLAGE — An artist whose mural has been on display in Times Square for three decades is hosting a party for cat lovers at artist residence Westbeth next week to celebrate her latest creation: the JacCAT, "a jacket for cat lovers."

READ MORE: This Jacket Has a Cat Silhouette On It and Is Called a JacCAT

The artist, who goes by the name SuZen, used Indiegogo to raise money to produce the JacCAT, which features a silhouette of one of her now-deceased cats, Ari.

SuZen has lived at Westbeth for more than 40 years, and her feline companions have long been her muses, starting with a book published in 1990 that told "the true story of how my two cats met and fell in love," she told DNAinfo New York.

Her mural of the Empire State Building's silhouette seen through venetian blinds has been on display at 303 W. 42nd St. since 1984.

READ MORE: Exhibit To Showcase Work of Artist Behind Decades-Old Times Square Mural

The JACcat fastens with magnets and is made of cotton imported from Japan — a country whose aesthetic SuZen feels such a connection to, she named two of her cats “Ari” and “Gato,” which combine to create the word “arigato,” Japanese for “thank you.”

But it is a true New York City creation, SuZen says, as it’s manufactured in the Garment District, just a few blocks south of her mural.

Guests at SuZen's Sept. 28 "cat purrrty" will gather in the Westbeth Center of the Art Community Space at 155 Bank St. from 7 to 10 p.m., where they can try on the JacCAT while they dance to "cat music" — a playlist crafted by the artist, featuring songs like "We Are Siamese If You Please," "What's New, Pussycat?" and tunes from the Broadway show "CATS."

SuZen will also provide cat ears for people who want them, and another artist will be on deck for face-painting, specializing in cat noses and whiskers.

A portion of SuZen's proceeds from any JacCAT sales will go to cat rescue groups, the artist said.