Peter Shelton

The proposed “Catbridge” would be festooned with demonic-looking felines.

People afraid of cats might vigorously oppose this planned public artwork in San Francisco, as it’s populated with mutant felines whose peepers gleam in the dark.

The “Catbridge,” designed by L.A. sculptor Peter Shelton, would appear on a downtown overpass as part of a convention center-expansion project. It’s one of three finalists vying for acceptance in early 2016; the other two feature objects that look like “simple freehand drawings” and “ocean encrustations,” respectively.

But let’s get back to the cats. In his proposal, Shelton explains he was inspired by the two-faced Roman god Janus and “kitties in the night” such as these:

Here’s more from the artist:

For the Howard Street Bridge, I propose to render five to six pedestal mounted cast bronze sculptures based on the abstracted forms of cats.  The cat is the consummately adapted urban animal that is as much a part of the day scape and as of the night.

I envision these cat forms on pedestals roughly two feet in diameter. The eyes of these cats would light up at night in keeping with the concept of the multi-facing Janus figures of antiquity. These cats would have at least two faces and two sets of eyes facing in both directions of the bridge.

The glowing eyes of the cats would lead us up and over the otherwise darkened bridge. It is important that the experience of the sculptural installation is as credible and poetic during the day as it is at night.

It’d be worth getting this thing built if only to see the neighborhood’s actual cats perform 10-foot vertical leaps of fear. Check out these drawings:

Peter Shelton/SFAC

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