Britain’s infamous guerilla artist – Bansky has opened his first official exhibition in New York. ‘The Village Pet Store and Charcoal grill’ is an installation into which visitors can wander and explore, peering in glass cases as if in a ‘real’ pet shop. Whilst rather different than his usual street art the pet shop is no less political. According to the BBC;
‘the fake pet shop aims to question "our relationship with animals and the ethics and sustainability of factory farming".
There is no doubt that it certainly does provokes reaction. Visitors may be shocked to see that the usual cute rabbit in the window is actually wearing pearls and applying make up. Moving on to the next window the viewing doesn’t get any less uncomfortable – in front of a mother hen two chicken nuggets dunk them selves in bbq sauce. Although, viewers may feel slightly uncomfortable there is of course the air of dark humor, which usually accompany Bansky’s work. Floating fish fingers are sure to bring a smile to even the most political of viewer’s lips.
Of course, art as always provokes debate, in fact; in this case the whole point of the installation is to spark discussion. However, the question here will be, do the discussions that follow actually query the relationship between animals, farming and man or simply chatter about the spectacle that is the village pet store?