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Animal Shred: Kate Barattini's new exhibition

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Kate Barattini is the American artist behind the Animal Shred series; beautiful paintings of surfers crossbred with animals. We caught up with her to see what it's all about.
Firstly, the obvious one. How did you come up with the idea to illustrate surfers as half-human, half-animal?
Kassia Meador gets all the credit for this one.  There is a beautiful photo of her surfing mainland Mex, she's hanging heels on this perfect glassy wave with overcast skies, and I instantly saw her with monarch butterfly wings. While bringing my idea to life I couldn't stop smiling at all of the animal personalities I recognized in other surfers.  It was joyful and I had to share it.
Is each painting of an actual surfer? And if so how did you decide who gets what head?
Definitely painted after surfers.  There are so many amazing styles out there and they're all beautifully unique much like animals. I image searched the surfers who most inspire me like Kassia, Ellis Ericson, Craig Anderson, Leah Dawson, Alex Knost goes on...and with some images I could instantly see the animal head!  Personifying animals makes me laugh which is fun, so this series is my visual interpretation of those cheeky thoughts. 
Was it a purely visual decision to only make only one body part animal or does the clear difference between the animal and human elements have a deeper meaning?
All visual.  The image would hit me instantly.
Are you painting any more for a future exhibition?
Yes!  I'm so stoked!  I have never ending ideas...I mean we are surrounded by some amazing animals and fantastic shredders of sleds!  I take my time though, never a need to rush.
If not, what's your next project going to be?
Pizza, but thats all I can say :).
What animal would you liken your surfing style to?
I'm confident in saying Golden Retriever.
If you could have the head of any animal when you surf, what would you go for? Personally I'd be an owl so I can see behind me as well.
Definitely a Gazelle!  Could you imaging the layback barrels?!  You'd be so deep with those horns!  Good call on the owl.
Take a look at the rest of her collection on her website:
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