Some of you might have heard of Banksy, the anonymous British graffiti artist notorious for leaving his guerrilla art in cities all over the world, like these:
Well he’s finally opened his first “exhibition” in New York City, and I use the word exhibition in the loosest terms. The Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill is Banksy’s first foray into using animatronics as social commentary. From the outside, it looks like no more than your run-of-the-mill pet shop, albeit one with a strange name and a leopard in the front window, but upon entering, you realize that the leopard is actually a fur coat, the “pets” in cages are animatronic fish-sticks swimming in tanks, Chicken McNuggets dipping into barbecue sauce, and a chimpanzee watching television with a pair of headphones on, as well as many others. Through his pet shop, Banksy not only pokes fun at popular culture and consumerism as he always does, but also makes a statement that can be interpreted as favoring vegetarianism or criticizing the processed, fast-foods we eat every day.
The Village Petstore and Charcoal Grill will be open until October 31st from 10 am until Midnight between West 4th Street and Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village. Here’s what you might find when you get there: