Victoria entrepreneur first past the post with election rendering of cat-scratch Christy Clark likeness

Source: Vancouver Sun
Author: Gord McIntyre

Victoria entrepreneur first past the post with election rendering of cat-scratch Christy Clark likeness

Chris Jensen had an itch he wanted to scratch.

An entrepreneur based in Victoria, he created Politikats to lampoon politicians who he saw as tending toward authoritarianism by building cat scratch posts with the politicians head on top.

“Countries with high corruption stifle entrepreneurship,” Jensen said.

He got the idea for Politikats (borrowing from the German idea of Realpolitik) during the rule of former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and when Donald Trump’s star began rising during the Republican primaries.

He’s also done scratch posts of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Russian president Vladimir Putin and Bernie Sanders (which sold out). He sells the posts through his online business.

Jensen’s latest Politikats creation is a scratching post in the likeness of B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark.

“With the provincial election here, I wanted to make something more me, more local,” the 26-year-old said.

Jensen’s first online business was Nobilified: You send in a photo of yourself, your spouse, an employee, your dog, and he paints the face onto a period piece of art. It could be Napoleon, Catherine the Great, Joan of Arc or the Prince of Wales.

He sends them all over the world, he said.

Jensen, who earned a B.A. in political science with a minor in economics at UBC, is Qalipu, a First Nation in Cornerbrook, NL.

Born in Singapore where his diplomat dad was posted, he’s lived in Hong Kong, Belgium and Ottawa. When he was 13, his family spent a year backpacking around the globe.

Jensen now lives in Victoria.

Whereas his other political scratch posts are mass produced, the one of Clark is a one-off.

“There’s only one Christy Clark and there’s only one of these scratch posts,” he said.

He’s auctioning it on May 8, the day before the provincial election, to raise money to support an initiative to boost grassroots entrepreneurship among First Nations youth aged 13 to 19 on Vancouver Island.

Jensen said he will vote for his current MLA, B.C. Green party Leader Andrew Weaver. He does not plan on making scratch posts of Weaver or NDP Leader John Horgan.

The Christy Clark piece took 140 hours to create, from hand-carving the head out of clay, casting it in a mold and painting it by hand.

The body was 3D printed and hand-wrapped in sisal rope.

The base is covered in red velvet.

“I don’t dislike Christy as a person, I’ve never met her,” Jensen said. “I just don’t agree with her policies.”