Thursday, October 16, 2008

Banksy's Pet Store

Famous British graffiti artist Banksy's first ever New York exhibition closes October 31. Get there if you can. The Big Apple for Halloween, think about it. Banksy's art installation, "The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill," will go down in art history. You will want to have BEEN there. Asked "Why a pet shop?" Banksy replied, "New Yorkers do not like art, they like pets. So I made a pet store."

Banksy's exhibit, a departure from his politically infused graffiti, features animatronic figures of familiar food, such as chicken. He puts the figures into weird situations that do not defy imagination, but, rather, boggle the mind. Banksy is attempting to explore our relationship with animals and the ethics and sustainability of factory farming, moving the viewer to question his or her conception of food and their relationship to it. A vegetarian will be the first to get it.

For those who won't make it to New York, here is the website for the exhibit. It is loaded with videos. Warning: Do NOT look at the sausage video. We're just sayin'. Here, also, is a good slide show provided by the BBC of images taken inside the fake pet shop.

The Banksy “Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill” is open daily from now until Halloween, 10am until midnight! Midnight! Its location is 87th west and 7th. Not only is the exhibit free, but you’re allowed to take pictures/videos, too!

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