Cat in Obsolete Shower Bath
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Dimensions: 36" x 28"
Medium: Giclee' on canvas
Edition Size: 850
Year of Release: 2018
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Some of life' most formidable moments emerge from the most uncomfortable situations. Dr. Seuss lived in a New York City studio apartment, just above a raucous, popular nightclub. Down the hall was the communal bathroom, which included a shower-bath.
Most of us have experienced a time early in our adult life when the entire world sits before our eyes. Young, eager, and prepared to chase our dreams, there is an excitement and trepidation that fuels those early days.
If you have been there, you are also familiar with the dingy one-room apartments and meager financial means, which define most young adults in that moment.
Dr. Seuss was no exception, living in such a place with his close Dartmouth friend and artistic confidant, Jack Rose. Jack invited Ted Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) to bunk in his New York City studio, just above a raucous, underground nightclub. Down the hall was the communal bathroom, which included a shower-bath.
“God, what a place!” Ted recalled. Noise wasn’t the only problem. He and Rose bought canes to “play polo” with the rats in their room. “The last thing we used to do at night was to stand on chairs . . . and try to drive them out so they wouldn’t nibble us while we slept.”
In Cat in Obsolete Shower Bath, Dr. Seuss places his beloved Cat in a shower-bath as if to look back on his life and recognize that without his early struggles–the dingy apartments, crazy landlords, and community shower-baths–the Cat and perhaps the entirety of his career, may never have materialized.
It is hard to know how life will unfold as one is living it. Moments that seem insignificant can only be understood as formidable upon later reflection. Ted’s early New York days in his studio apartment, shower-bath and all, likely had a more profound effect on him then could have possibly been imagined at the time.
This community bathroom down the hall from his apartment, together with its shared shower-bath, likely forged a more indelible mark on Ted than he even realized.
Ted's Cat, known to be his alter ego, emerged later in Ted’s life and became one of the most important pop culture icons of the 20th century. In Cat in Obsolete Shower Bath, Ted places his beloved Cat in a shower-bath as if to look back and recognize that without such moments—the struggles, dingy apartments, crazy landlords, and community shower-baths—the Cat, and perhaps the entirety of his career, may never have materialized.