Artists' desperate plea to find home for unique one-off painting of Ely's Garfield the cat he finished almost two years ago

PUBLISHED: 11:23 05 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:23 05 July 2019

Hidden! The mystery painting of Garfield the cat by artist Rob Martin who is desperately looking to find a home for his one-off piece. Picture: Rob Martin / ARCHANT

Hidden! The mystery painting of Garfield the cat by artist Rob Martin who is desperately looking to find a home for his one-off piece. Picture: Rob Martin / ARCHANT

Rob Martin / ARCHANT

A well-known artist is desperately looking to find a home for his one-off painting of Ely's Garfield the cat following the feline's tragic death.

Felix the Huddersfield Station cat. A mystery painting of Garfield the cat by artist Rob Martin who is desperately looking to find a home for his one-off piece. Picture: Rob MartinFelix the Huddersfield Station cat. A mystery painting of Garfield the cat by artist Rob Martin who is desperately looking to find a home for his one-off piece. Picture: Rob Martin

Yorkshire-based Rob Martin painted the viral cat nearly two years ago after the success of his previous pieces which hit the headlines in 2016.

Mr Martin's work was launched into the spotlight after he unveiled his unique painting of Mango the Tiverton Tesco cat… wearing a suit and tie.

Yep! You heard that right. Mr Martin's unique style replaces the ordinary portrait style and features animals wearing clothes.

The Northern artist heard of Garfield's death and decided the piece he created needed to find a permanent home in the East Cambridgeshire city.

Hidden! The mystery painting of Garfield the cat by artist Rob Martin who is desperately looking to find a home for his one-off piece. Picture: Rob MartinHidden! The mystery painting of Garfield the cat by artist Rob Martin who is desperately looking to find a home for his one-off piece. Picture: Rob Martin

He said: "The news about Garfield is really sad. The thing about this painting is that it was done while he was alive, unlike a traditional tribute painting."

The artist - who is about to take on the task of painting Labour leader Jeremy Corbin's pet cat - would like to turn the piece into a tourist attraction to remember Garfield.

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He added: "I want to keep the painting hidden until it is hopefully unveiled. Much like a feline Banksy - all I can say is that he will be wearing clothes.

"The piece is happy and a bit daft and hopefully everyone will like it. It is a matter of opinion but art works like that."

In 2016 he told Devon Live: "I just think people are people and they need a good laugh these days. [My work] stands out compared to digital photography and other art.

"Things can be depressing at times, but a funny looking picture can make people laugh, it's here to cheer people up."

He not only painted Mango, he also took on a piece of Felix the Huddersfield Station cat - this time the cat was seen sporting a long green dress.

Rob said: "I never set out to paint all these famous cats. So many people got in touch asking me to paint Felix and it just went from there."

Mr Martin hopes the people of Ely can help him find a permanent home for the piece in memory of the loveable Sainsbury's cat.

Do you have any ideas? Email: harry.rutter@archant.co.uk, call 01354 661955 or tweet us @ElyStandard with your suggestions.

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