I first saw Cougar Morrison performing out in NYC during my first round of interviews for “Drag Landscapes”. I had just returned from Sydney and was still fresh with the idea of expanding my project out there when I heard over the mic that they lived in Perth.
Immediately after their performance I found them to ask if they’d be interested in being a part of the project, and lo and behold days later we interviewed out in Columbus Circle over a quick lunch to hear about their life.
The first thing that struck me was how they got their name.
“My house that I lived in was quite haunted, and I remember one night when I was young, someone – a ghost -, saying into my ear very vividly “WHO IS COUGAR MORRISON?!!” and I thought to myself – I DON’T KNOW! -.. I searched on the internet for quite some time and could never figure it out. It became the perfect name for me really.”
Transfixed I just sat there thinking, “Oh this is going to be an amazing interview.”
They explained to me further about Australian society in relation to drag and queer culture, as well as their life growing up studying Opera/performance, their identity, and how it merged into the talented being “Cougar Morrison”.
While I’ll be expanding more on their story soon, I did want to share the portrait with you now. This, by far, is the most detailed piece I have ever done in my life.. and I could not be happier with the result. This is about 60 hours of work condensed into 5 days of intense painting and drawing.