Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Banksy: The Village Pet Store And Charcoal Grill

The Village Pet Store And Charcoal Grill

The Village Pet Store And Charcoal Grill is set in a faux pet supplies shop, complete with actors playing assistants, and features animatronic fish-fingers swimming lazily around a goldfish bowl, hot dogs frolicking in terrariums, a monkey wearing headphones and watching television and an aged, bald and miserable Tweety swinging back and forth in his cage.

Nuggets features two bite-sized chicken pieces pecking at a single-serving carton of tomato sauce, watched over by mother hen. Big Cats shows what appears to be a leopard resting on a branch in a cage which, on closer inspection, turns out to be an ingeniously arranged fur coat.

Juxtaposed with the animatronic displays are real pet supplies, packages of luncheon meat and odd foodstuffs, such as quail eggs and pork titbits.

The animatronic hot-dogs have reportedly sparked complaints from people unhappy about seeing two hot-dogs performing a sex act. Other passers-by have complained about the lack of space for the caged leopard and monkey.

New York had been buzzing with rumours that the elusive artist was in town, as giant rat murals appeared throughout the city before the show's opening last week. In a written statement, Banksy said:

"New Yorkers dont care about art, they care about pets. So Im exhibiting them instead. I wanted to make art that questioned our relationship with animals and the ethics and sustainability of factory farming, but it ended up as chicken nuggets singing. I took all the money I made exploiting an animal in my last show and used it to fund a new show about the exploitation of animals. If its art and you can see it from the street, I guess it could still be considered street art."

Vege burger anyone?

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