Approaching the Senate floor, welcome Sen. Mitch McColombia, the “Majority Leader of Sneezes.”
Reimagined as a cat by genius Oklahoma City artist Anthony Pego – who’s taken the month of February to paint politicians as cats on his website Boo Science – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s zoomorphic transformation is a pleasant change of pace.
Pego describes “McColombia” as a cat who “spends his free time running a cocaine based drug cartel out of a printer paper box lid,” referencing a 2014 Nation report that tied the Kentucky senator to a cargo ship owned by the McConnell family, which according to a Colombian Coast Guard official housed 90 pounds of cocaine.
McConnell’s office never responded to a request for comment from The Nation.
“His face is iconic, it was effortless, he was already there waiting for me to do it,” Pego told msnbc on his reason for painting McConnell. “The fun was working on it not looking like a turtle,” he said, noting that The Daily Show Jon Stewart and others have already made that comparison.
Pego, 36, took to digital art this winter after working in traditional mediums throughout his life. He paints using a Stylus pen – typically used on bigger surfaces like tablets – on his tiny Samsung GALAXY S5 smartphone. As far as the subject matter goes, politics is in Pego’s blood: His step-father was the assistant to Mayor Ron Norick during the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
“I’ve always taken voting seriously, but I was doing a lot more wondering about who I’m voting for. So I thought it’d be nice to learn about the various politics in the U.S. and improve my Stylus skills to transition into the digital art world,” Pego said.
Pego has already depicted several notable New York Democrats as felines. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was transformed into “extra kitty Gov. Andrew Cuomew,” with long whiskers and a fluffy face. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is fierce with blonde and red fur as “Sen. Purrsten Gillibrand,” who has “quietly garnered a lot of attention lately and she is thought to be a high pawed Presidential candidate, but for when, no one will say.” And Sen. Chuck Schumer, who goes by “Lucky” as long as he’s on the “Joint Congressional Committee on Napping.”
“As far as I know, like 10 people have seen it,” Pego said about the series.
Next on the docket: Idaho Republican Rep. Vito Barbieri, who turned heads Monday during a debate over an abortion bill when he asked a doctor if having a woman swallow a small camera would be of use during a gynecological exam. “Yep, I’m gonna go ahead and turn him into a cat,” Pego said.