It's not unusual to come across fan art inspired by some of the internet's most famous feline video stars, but I've never seen anything quite like the thought-provoking work of Valeria Montana, who transforms shattered glass into haunting cat portraits.
The Frágil. Fuerte (Fragile. Strong) project began after Valeria was out riding her bike one day, and came across a car accident. She starts off with a wood canvas, and then paints her subject, before painstakingly covering the finished piece with an eerie layer of broken glass, culled from less-than-fortunate circumstances.
When asked to elaborate on the project, Montana tells me:
"Cats are my inspiration because they have 7 lives (other people think that they have 9): All are a unique life.
This artwork is made of safety glass (from accidents) on wood. This is a very tragic material that I transform into art to show the paradox of something strong also being fragile.
I am obsessed with how a free-falling cat can turn itself right-side-up as it falls, no matter which way up it was initially. Cats are the strongest animals that I can think of. They are so free, so independent and so lovely: This "feline spirit" is also part of my inspiration."
Henri, le Chat Noir
So far, her subjects have included viral video stars such as Maru, Grumpy Cat, OMG Cat, Keyboard Cat, and Two Talking Cats. She's also tackled feline philosopher, Henri, le Chat Noir, who I'm sure would have something to say about the impermanence of life in relation to a shattered portrait.
Visit the project's Tumblr, Frágil. Fuerte, for more.