banksy: village pet store and charcoal grill.

Banksy is an alt-art Midas. Everything he touches turns to popular. He never does anything they way the contemporary art establishment expects and he’s a genius at subtly mixing social commentary with visual surprise. His works are multi-layered, but they stand alone on every individual level. That’s not easy and that’s one of the big reasons why he gets as much attention as he does.

His first New York show, “The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill” at 89 West 7th Avenue, is less than 300 square feet and can’t hold more than 20 people at a time. Passers-by can check out the storefront window 24/7, and inside there’s no graffiti or any mention of Banksy at all. Inside, he debuts his new work with animatronics with an absolutely genius line-up of creatures. Nothing in here is really what it seems: Fishsticks swim inside a fish bowl, hotdogs laze about inside their plastic tanks, and baby chicken nuggets peck away at a small tub of barbeque sauce…

The man himself said “I wanted to make art that questioned our relationship with animals and the ethics and sustainability of factory farming.”

The New York Times said “The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill, as the green awning reads, is Banksy’s first official exhibition in New York, his representatives say, and it will be open to the public daily through Oct. 31. ‘Open for Pet Supplies/Rare Breeds/Mechanically retrieved meat’ says a sign in front of the shop. Bales of hay dot the sidewalk, along with a kiddie dolphin ride, wrapped in a fishing net like the day’s catch. But it is the leopard in one of the storefront windows that stops passers-by first. ‘Is that — real?’ a woman asked on Wednesday, peering at a large furry object perched on a tree branch, its tail swinging. It’s not: it is an ingeniously arranged fake fur coat. The robot monkey is more lifelike: it sits, breathing, in a cage inside the store, wearing headphones, holding a remote and watching a television clip of some fellow monkeys in an amorous moment.”

NOTCOT commissioned Seth Brau to make (finally… thank god) a HD version for us all to check out. It’s niiiice:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Via Wooster Collective


  1. Kyle Fletcher says:

    To address: “Banksy is an alt-art Midas.”

    Pretty sure this installation is bringing to fruition the conceptual longings of an undergraduate freshmen. Are you kidding me? Stick to the street art Banksy. This shit is lame. Stencil these characters on the white house lawn or something. While I am sensitive to (and quite fond of) the usage of Animatronics, it seems this piece is far less interesting than the rest of his stunts.

    While it may segway into new medium for him, it certainly does NOT bring anything new to contemporary art. Wim Delvoye deals with similar topics in a much more interesting way, and coincidentally makes his statement using robotics as well.


    Stay in the Street, Banksy. You’re not ready for the criticism of the great indoors.

  2. bobbywashere says:

    ha ha…this made me laugh when I read your blog post.

    Who ever Banksy is he has a very funny sense of humour. What I like about Banksy work is his ability to make me smile. Good post!


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