Banksy Pet Store.. and Charcoal Grill in New York

I generally don’t like art that preaches to me or tells me that I’m doing something wrong. There’s enough people in the world trying to force others to live or be like themselves, so I like my art to be art.

banksy animatronics pet shop

Banksy is one of the few artists that I don’t mind preaching to me as he’s such a clever artist. I wouldn’t hang (most of) his work on my walls at home as they’re too preachy (and too expensive), but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate his art/messages.

His latest work is a pet shop of freaky animatronic animal/food hybrids in New York. He questions our use and abuse of animals as pets and food.

The chicken nuggets pecking at a container of McDonalds sauce is just weird. The realistic chicken looking over them like a concerned parent just makes the scene even weirder.

Here’s a quote from Banksy on the Wooster Collective website.. “New Yorkers don’t care about art, they care about pets. So I’m exhibiting them instead. I wanted to make art that questioned our relationship with animals and the ethics and sustainability of factory farming, but it ended up as chicken nuggets singing. I took all the money I made exploiting an animal in my last show and used it to fund a new show about the exploitation of animals. If its art and you can see it from the street, I guess it could still be considered street art”

Wooster Collective has a few more photos and video of the Banksy pet shop posted here.

Watch this video below of a leopard from Banksy’s “The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill” exhibition..

There’s more videos on YouTube for those that are interested in the Banksy freakshow. I wish I was close enough to go and see it.

Banksy has a website for the Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill exhibition online here. The pet store is located at 89 Seventh Avenue South, Greenwich Village, New York, USA. The pet shop is open from 10am till 12am daily until the 31st of October, 08.

The Gothamist, MyArtSpace and the NY Times all mention the Banksy NY exhibition too.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. Donald Frazell says:

    Uhoh, preachy? I am in trouble. Got kinda hungry looking at the nuggets, but too much breading and preservatives for me. Since when is a jaguar a pet? New yorkers are weird, with a diamond collar I suppose too. Better watch out, as animals do eat one another. Ohoh, we ARE animals, guess that makes us hungry for nutritious and revitalizing protein too.

    And no, soy wont do it, too much most certainly WILL kill you. Why vegans always look so sickly. Sorry most of us will reamin omnivores, but could stand to cut back o the meat, do eat more than necessary, no matter how delicious. I always marinate my chicken overnite, Italian dressing is great, but homemade salsa from the garden even better. Thinking abour raising chickens considering the economy, but only partially for the eggs. McNuggets will kill you as quick as tofu will.


  2. I find the adult chicken feet on the nugget chicks interesting. So are they suppose to be the “real” chicken’s fellow chickens or it’s chicks?

  3. Is a picture of a burger art when it’s made by McDonalds? Are the french fries art also? I am Banksy and I say they are. No need to visit any gallery ever again. Just visit McDonalds and take it all in. It’s all art and yes it can be seen from the street so it’s street art! Just don’t take it into the toilet or it becomes crap art.

    Will the term art ever regain it’s former meaning? Will we ever again see any art on this blog! How about renaming this alleged art as “media event” and this blog as “media event news blog”. Or maybe we should try the term “yawn art”… it certainly all appears so predictable and vacant and very very boring.

  4. I just read about how chickens (27,000 of them crammed into one space with no light) are being bred so fast their bones can’t keep up and they can’t stand. ugh!

    I know, some don’t like this and don’t see this as art, but it is an artist using various materials to make a statement. I find value in that, if not in the image itself.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Massive fan of Banksy’s work, his recent work has been simply annoying.

    For an artist it takes time to gain a reputation and his is falling into nothing more than something from the New Yorker or any trash newspaper cartoonist.

    I no longer care. If he popped out tomorrow and said “I am Banksy” good for you would be a simple enough reply.

    Something to think about with this person/team or collective: are his quotes becoming more of a thing than his artwork?

  6. art is taking something that is old, normal, and common and making people see it in a new light, so in that definition bansky is making art.
    and i think what bansky is trying to say with the chicken exhibit is that we should respect the animals that we get our nutrition from. cramming 10 pigs in 5ft by 6ft pen is anything but humane. yes, they’re going to die and be eaten just the same, they were probably born for that purpose but they still deserve humane treatment. it’s not about becoming vegans and abstaining from meat (mmmm! delicious meeeat!), it’s about respecting the life of that the gives you sustenance.

  7. Donald Frazell says:

    There was just an article about Morandi, Earl, where were you? Only I, Brian and Dion commented on it. Art is all around, except where artistes put it. Art exalts life, this diminishes it. Chicken McNuggets dont make me think about the worlds ecosystem, which would be political anyway, or lifes meaning. But the business system we have and marketing. Which is all art has beocme.

    I dont mind Banksy when he does some of his murals, bringing a sense of lifes simple joys to a forlorn place. As long as its elemental and human and not cute art school crap. But this is just silly. Disneyish. Whatever “questions” it is trying to bring up are childsih and not about building life, but amusing ourselves by elevating our own sense of self worth, and political correctness. Boring. And certainly not art.

    Art collegia delenda est.

  8. not art to you Donald, but it is to other people.

  9. Donald frazell says:

    How so? If everything is art, then it is, and art is nothing. For with no definition, a word does not exist. So how is this art? What kind is the more appropriate question, certainly not the creative art that man has need of, and existed since we learned how to communicate. No talking chicken McNuggets at Lascaux.

  10. Nobody is saying everything is art. What I said is that it is an artist using a variety of media to make a statement and I find value in that.

    If an artist makes something with the intent to be art then it is to him/her. If some don’t see it that way so be it.

  11. Donald Frazell says:

    Then him/her needs to study art, not of the last forty years, but of human history. Then in that “context” this most definitely is not “art”.

  12. That argument has been used throughout history against newer forms of artistic expression. caravaggio’s realistic paintings were considered shocking, heavily criticized and in some cases caused “violent outrages”.

    Diorama art isn’t new, has been used since the early 1800′s as vehicle for artistic expression. Banksy just put his own spin on it.

  13. Donald Frazell says:

    HOW something is created has nothing to do with that, Kurt Schwitters proved that. Cornell was just neurotic silliness for grandmas, Schwitters got down to true art with his contructs. His had life to them.

    INTENT is everything, purpose. The purpose here is to amuse, inform, have fun. Therefore, it is entertainment. The very opposite of art. Now, its probably pretty cool walking by on a chilly nite. but art? No. Not even in a liberal interpretation. It is about one persons view, not trying to discover humanities. Real people like meat. Smart ones just eat it as part of a ballanced diet.

    I like some of Banksy’s stuff, not so much this Disneyland display. Belongs in a toy store, not an art site. Fine for that, everything has its place, just not here. It’s like playing ping pong in a football stadium.

  14. Donald Frazell says:

    And Caravagios are far from realistic, in technique, yes, but carried a heavily perverted view of life. THATS what got him in trouble. Plus his rather violent nature that kept him on the run from the law.

    And Dion, got my latest stuff up at Brians, and my wifes. You might like hers better. Usually hate artiste sites, they got thousands there, like finding a needle in a haystack, but finally found a few I like. Want to contact them. Brians is pretty interesting too. Thats what happens when you know and appreciate Giorgio Morandi and his like. Check his out.

  15. The point is his (Caravaggio) way of expressing his art was considered unacceptable Dion (just as much modern art is). As for art isn’t entertainment, I would say there is plenty of historic evidence to show that art has been used to entertain, to educate, to impress, etc etc.

  16. I think life is art, so I’m not much of a judge of what art is and isnt. If I make my bed properly, it’s art.

    My problem is that I can’t turn art off. I’m constantly looking at things throughout the day as art, which can be tiring. A grouping of bottles, patterns on the wall, a dog on the chair.

    So I cant define what art is as I think it’s everything. There’s lots of different kinds of art, but no single medium or genre can claim the three little letters to itself.

    I know my definition of art isnt the same as the dictionary’s definition, but that’s fine with me.

  17. Donald frazell says:

    Creativity is all around, in everythng we do, as is self expression. They are unavoidable, except in Republican campaigns. One is creative in the kitchen, the yard, the bedroom. Especially when it leads to children. But they aint art, especialy nerve wracking noise, messy children. Yet we still love them.

    Art always ahs had purpose, til the post war baby boom generation decided they wanted their cake adn eat it too. And so now watered down to the point of lowering from fine wine to gatorade. for teh massses, and refreshing sometimes, but ahrdly got teh kick adn essential part of life that a grat wine brings. Ask the Church about that one.

    no, art is the same, we jsut added some lesser forms, derived from what art truly is. And often not jsut bordering entertainment, the yin ot its yang, but crossing the boarder. Design and applied arts string the boarder, and are essential to living life well. But creative art adn Disney are opposties, yet part of the whole. This stuff is fine, though this pet center stuff kinda over the top, and taken too seriously by someone who specializes in simple things.

    Besides, I love my New Zealand lamb. Marinated in home made over srengthed Italian dressing, it is delixious. just in moderation, but especially as kabobs. Love my chicken too. Hmmmmmmmm, tasty. And nutritious, and quite essential to a human well ballanced diet, so his “point” is jsut childish make believe, as is anthropomorphizing animals, or animating them. Except at Disneyland.

    Art collegia delenda est

  18. Donald Frazell says:

    And Caravaggio was a murderer and all around Ahole. His perversions came through strongly in his paintings. Amazing any bought his work as it was. No one owed him anything, or to any artist. He was a great painter, but not artist. His work was all about his own gloomy passions. And why he probably is so popular today, he was completely self consumed. And as decadent as they come. The perfect Saint for our gilded artiste age.

  19. This collection seems a little off target for me, I feel much of Banksy’s earlier work had far greater impact, perhaps it’s all down to context. The streets are not concocted, they’re designed for living in, not exhibiting, hence the social and psychological impact of street art.

    On another point, I was drawn into a lot of animal activism as a child – The Animal Liberation Front recruited myself amongst others to free animals from laboratories (most of whom were blind, bleeding, and barely breathing – many died within hours of their new found freedom) in the UK in order to avoid legal prosecution.

    I’ve seen some rather awful stuff, but in truth, I personally feel an anti-vivisection poster has more impact and arbitrary artistic value than an animatronic hotdog or an ageing Tweety Pie.


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