My first exposure to Banksy — the pseudonymous British street artist (some say consortium) whose irreverent works of socio-political satire have appeared in site-specific locations across the globe — was a visit to his October, 2008 immersive Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill. Located in a Greenwich Village, NYC storefront and filled with surreal creations both familiar and exotic, the installation was designed to look like a typical pet store, but with a twist. While there was no actual Charcoal Grill serving food, rather than selling live animals, the store featured a variety of animatronic pets, including fish sticks swimming in a fish bowl, ‘chicken nugget’ baby chicks and a rabbit applying makeup before a mirrored vanity.
If there’s one thing I like, it’s something that appears to be completely normal and mundane on the surface but which, upon closer inspection, proves to be completely subversive and fucked up. Such is the case with the Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill, a mind-bending installation from maverick street artist Banksy. Continue reading Banksy’s Village Pet Store: A Walk on the Wild Side!