Via Neatorama came a small report about the artist Wim Delvoye who has done lots of cool stuff. The towards the end of the article was this:
Wim is a vegetarian, but he has a pig/art farm outside of Beijing in China. He’s not thinking of bacon, however – Wim has other plans for his swine: he tattoos them! (He said that the pigs have better, longer lives than those raised for food).
I realise that this may make statements about the consumer society and the way in which we treat animals but I still really dislike the fact that the man tattoos animals. This, to me, is another example of an artist using animals to create “shock value” in order to move the jaded art scene into a reaction. It still does not make it art not does it make it right. And what the hell was the monoumentaly stupid comment that the pigs were happy and that he was a vegetarian about?
That an animal is more happy than another animal (how is this measured?) does not make abusing it a legitimate act. The fact that the artist refuses to eat meat does not legitimize his torment of animals. Just sick. As it happens it also may be pointless from a novelty point of view since he is not the first artist to tattoo pigs.
Why should work like this be dignified with the name art – isn’t it just animal abuse on a more premedited and cruel scale?