Leave it to Banksy to mix the cute and the cuddly with the totally disturbing. In the 11th work of his Better Out Than In exhibit happening on the streets of New York, the British artist takes over another delivery truck but, this time, there's no enchanting garden or running waterfall. Instead, a slaughterhouse delivery truck is carrying 60 stuffed animals (or puppets) – cows, chickens, pigs, lambs – who are seen moving their heads through wooden slats. This isn't just a visual installation, however. The animals can also be heard squealing and banging their against the sides of the “Farm Fresh Meats Inc” truck.
As Banksy's audio guide states, “This is a piece of sculpture art, and I know what you're thinking, ‘Isn't it a bit subtle?' Here, the artist Banksy is making some sort of comment on the causal cruelty of the food industry. Or perhaps something vague and pretentious about the loss of childhood innocence.”
The guide continues: “The truck contains over 60 cuddly soft toys on the road to a swift death. However, in order to bring them to life, four professional puppeteers are required, strapped into bucket seats, dressed entirely in black lycra, pulling on an array of levers with each limb and given only one toilet break a day – proving that the only sentient beings held in lower esteem than livestock are mime artists.”
Sirens of the Lambs started touring the Meatpacking District today and will be roaming the streets of New York for the next two weeks. Watch the video, below, to see the reaction of shocked New Yorkers (including a poor baby at the end).