Want to see what cats look like without their fluffy coats of fur? Look no further than the Sphynx cat, which was developed specifically to look naked by breeders in Europe starting in the 1960s. Photographer Alicia Rius recently shot a series titled “Sphynxes” that explores the strange appearance of these cats.
Although the Sphynx looks hairless, it actually has a very fine layer of down. It’s skin features many of the same patterns as cats with full coats of fur (e.g. point, van tabby, tortie). Things breeders desire in the Sphynx include: a wedge shaped head, prominent cheekbones, large eyes, huge ears, a muscular body, and a whiplike tail.
“Sphynxes fascinates me in many ways,” Rius tells us. “I’m drawn by their alien look. There’s something disturbing yet admirable that keeps me astonished.”
“This breed shows what a true cat is. Without fluffy and fancy coats, everything is raw, exposed, vulnerable. This body of work is an exploration of the beauty of Sphynxes within their oddity.”
Each of the photographs in Rius’ project were shot on location with natural light. Here are some of the images she has captured so far: