Today, we have three masters in their respective mediums: a sculptor, a photographer and an illustrator.

1. Sergio Bustamante

Bustamante is a living legend in Mexico. He was born in the city of Culiacan, Sinaloa in 1949. As an orphan, he was raised by his grandfather José, who nurtured and developed his sense of artistic wonder. By the age of 9 he was he was already developing his passion for fine art and moved to Guadalajara to further his studies. His focus on paintings and papier-mâché figurines paid off when had his first solo exhibition at only 17 years old. Less than a decade later he had formally studied (and dropped out of) architectural studies, completed a stint in Amsterdam and even set up a workshop in Guadalajara with other artists, which has remained his base ever since.

Bustamante is most famous for his bronze sculptures, many which depict animals in humanoid forms. He also sells limited edition resin figurines and jewelry directly on his own website. Check it out and be amazed by his creativity and originality.

The Muse and the Cat, from sculptor’s own website. An 18in (46cm) tall bronze sculpture that weighs 34lbs (15.5kg) and retails for US$ 4,377.
Alejandrino Cat, from sculptor’s own website. It stands almost 3ft (86cm) tall, weighs 42 pounds (19kg) and retails for US$4,740.
Gymnast Cat, from sculptor’s own website. A 9.5in bronze figurine going for US$ 1,164.

He has published a book featuring his art titled: Sergio Bustamante, The Alchemist of Dreams (Spanish), available on his website for US$ 70.46.

There is also an excellent 1986 hardcover book featuring his early work which is available on Amazon for US$ 25.65. An absolute steal for fans.

2. Hardibudi

Next up, we have Hardijanto Budiman aka Hardibudi, who is an official Nikon Indonesia photographer. This is a by-invitation ambassadorship role for professional photographers who primarily own and use Nikon gear. They have to be the best of the best in terms of skill and creativity. Not a problem for this man, who has won more than 200 local and international photography awards so far in his career. Born in 1968, he had a passion for art from a young age. However, it wasn’t until his mid 30’s that he started taking photography as a serious art form. His style can best be described as conceptual, contemporary and surreal perspectives on modern life. Of course, he doesn’t focus exclusively on cats, but they play an important role in many of his images.

His art is available for purchase via the photography collective website 1x. Prices start from around US$ 23 (basic prints) and upwards.

3. Tokuhiro Kawai

Born in Tokyo in 1971, the oil painter named Tokuhiro Kawai turns 50 years old this year, and is still the youngest artist in today’s lineup. By the age of 26, he had earned both his Bachelor & Master of Fine Arts (BFA & MFA) from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. 

His style of surrealism can best be described as Renaissance inspired fairy tales and mythology. With a lot of cats of course. Kawai’s two cats Piko and Chiko were his muses and inspiration throughout almost 3 decades of his career but sadly, both of them have passed away some time ago. They will live on in memory and are also immortalized in his paintings, which many people from all over the world will enjoy.

Tokuhiro Kawai’s collections have been on exhibition throughout Japan and the rest of the world since 1997. Check out his website here. He is also partnered with Gallery Gyokuei in Tokyo along with 6 other artists, where they sometimes offer limited edition prints. Your best bet to obtain his original paintings would be via the main art auction houses like Christie’s, where some of his past works have sold for above US$ 30,000. Yes, for the rest of us mere mortals, there’s always Instagram.

Hope you enjoyed this article! We expect many more amazing things to come from these three maestros in the near future and will keep you all updated if there’s any significant news.

For more on legendary cat artists, check out our story of possibly the greatest cat painter of all time!

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