Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How close is too close?

Earlier this month a new store opened in Manhattan’s West Village. The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill is largely what its name implies: a combo pet store and eatery.

Well not exactly.

More accurately, the “store” is an art installation from graffiti/street artist Banksy. Not that you’d know it. His name isn’t anywhere on the place and none of the ingenious and stunning animatronic displays resemble his two-dimensional works.

Inside the “store” you’ll find a rabbit grooming itself in front of a small vanity, hot dogs and other sausages squirming in display cases (located beneath their wrapped and packaged brethren) and a hen overseeing her little chicken nuggets (beneath a brazier menu).

If having animals for sale in two versions—live and/or processed—in one convenient place sounds a bit unsettling, well, it kinda is. It’s also a mental delight to see fish sticks swimming—actually swimming!—in a fish bowl.

But it’s not all fun and games. Banksy, ever the social commentarian, is asking us to question our interactions with animals.

This is definitely one of those experiences that makes you glad to live in New York.

It’s open from now until October 31st.

See more cool pics here.

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