By Jack Williams
The Sphynx cat is not known as a glamour puss but these moggies pose up in all their furless glory.
Shot from a variety of angles, the Sphynx cats are made to look alien-like as they pose for images using the same techniques as portrait photography.
The project was the idea of Alicia Rius, a Catalonian photographer based in Los Angeles, California, USA, who said she hopes to find something unique about each of the furless felines she shoots.
To date, Alicia has photographed 14 different Sphynxes, who she identifies through casting calls on her website and social media.
As someone who admits to always being fascinated by weird things – particularly animals – Alicia said she was immediately enamored to a hairless Sphynx cat the first time she saw one.
She said: “When I started to do these series, I wanted the viewers to experience the same mixture of feelings I was feeling at the time I was photographing them.
“I hope to spark a fascination of such a rare breed, awaken a curiosity to want to know more about these hairless cats, and to also leave the viewer in amazement.
“The reaction has been quite interesting.
“People who had disliked them have reached out and told me that they can now appreciate their unique beauty, while there have been others who have always been fascinated with them, like myself.
“I think this breed falls into two distinct love-hate categories without much in the middle, which I hope to change along the way.”
Since she first photographed a Sphynx, in San Francisco, in 2013, the photographer has slowly been building a solid body of work, hoping one day to turn her collection into a book, “The Disturbing Beauty of the Sphynx Cat.”
For the series, Alicia looks to photograph the animals using an abundance of natural light and only a few backdrops.
Arguably the most important factor in shooting the felines, Alicia said, is time – as allowing the cats to familiarize themselves with her, the equipment and environment makes for better shots.
Alicia, 34, said: “A cat without that protective, typical coat allowed me to recognize and experience each emotion and sensation the Sphynx cat was experiencing, as it was exposed on its raw, naked flesh.
“Open-minded people, who think outside of the traditional cat box, are intrigued with this unique cat’s exterior.
“They may not have fur, but when you pet one, it’s like you’re caressing velvet.
“These cats may outwardly look edgy, aggressive, or a bit odd – however, their personalities are actually in fact bright, joyful, very affectionate and quite social.
“This breed is a great example of the notable cliche: ‘Looks can be deceiving.'”