Painting by Dana Ellyn
Moving from the general to the more specific issues concerning animal cruelty. I will be looking at why this topic is important and affects all of us and that this is why so many visual artists and activists are incorporating anti-animal cruelty into their works. Why do people abuse animals? Animals are innocent creature that Mother Nature has created. They are here to co-habit with us. They are not here for us to abuse, neglect, or rule. Every living creature has the right to live in peace. It is our social and moral responsibility as human beings to ensure that no living being is abused and neglected, human or animal.
Many individual artists know this and incorporate animal cruelty into their works. There are even whole organizations such as PETA who have activists dedicated to this cause. This activism is done in a number of ways. Through visual protests, campaigns, posters, photography, etc. Sometimes activism done through art can have a more profound effect on people than by simply lecturing or giving facts about the cause, especially if these artists and activists have agency within the community. Viewers are able to visually see the effects without the message being too overbearing and are able to interpret the message for themselves as well as feel the impact. I have researched many ways in which this can be done. Through graffiti, public protests, artwork, and art installations just to name a few. Nicholas Mirzoeff in Chapter 7 of How to See the World tells us “Graffiti is a way to reclaim public space for discussion. It can reach people who might not see mainstream media let alone go to an art gallery (264). A very informative website that I found, OneGreenPlanet, showcases many artists and their works of activism, such as Gale Hart who is a sculptor, painter, and multimedia artist. In 2010 Gale released a collection of work titled Why Not Eat Your Pet that focuses “on the hypocrisy of human treatment of food animals.” PETA also has a link on their website that highlights artists such as Jo Frederiks, Dana Ellyn and Banksy just to name a few who use pictures and art to speak up about animal rights. In my final post I will go more in depth with the mediums and strategies used by these artists to communicate this global issue.
“Art and Activism: A Spotlight On Animal Rights Activists (Part 1).” One Green Planet. One Green Planet, 15 Dec. 2011. Web. 25 May 2017.
“Picture Perfect: Artists Speak Up for Animal Rights.” PETA Australia. PETA Australia, 15 Nov. 2016. Web. 25 May 2017.
Mirzoeff, Nicholas. How to see the world. Great Britain: Pelican, 2015. Print.
These billboards are featured as part of Jonathan Horowitz’s Go Vegan! Campaign
This week I focused on finding examples of visual activism pertaining to my topic, animal cruelty. This is a global issue that has an effect on virtually every country. Whether it is a beloved family animal or a creature in the wild all animals are intelligent creatures that should be treated with respect and not cause them any unnecessary suffering or pain. I am researching how artists and designers have represented animal rights through images of art and design in America as well as in other countries. I will also be looking at animal rights laws in these countries and how they might pertain to the activism being done in those countries. One of the animal rights organizations I will be looking at is PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), which is an American organization that is known for their controversial advertising tactics. The slogan from their website is, “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.” I will be looking at some of their print media and commercials as well as what activists have done in a public speaking format. I will also be showcasing artists who through their projects show their opposition to animal cruelty. Some of these artists are Jonathon Horowitz, Banksy, and Rubi Roth. I will be analyzing their works and the effect that they might have on the public. I believe an effective format for my creative work would be to do a screencast consisting of all of the artists’ works and a short glimpse of my thoughts on each artist and a general theme if one in fact exists.
Te ao hurihuri identifies the current moment as a part of a series of events that began with first contact and settlement and continues until the present moment. It acknowledges how contemporary shifts in technology and cultural development are located in relation to wider historical influences and connections and affects future social, political and cultural structures and discourse.
For this project we are asked to investigate and respond to a social, cultural, economic, political or environment issue of our choice. I have decided to focus on animal cruelty and animal rights specifically in the United States. I believe this topic is current and relevant and I will be able to find numerous visual elements I can utilize. I have already found several artists that have dedicated entire projects and pieces of work to animal cruelty. Through this type of visual activism they have the ability to get their message out to a wider audience in a creative way. I will be focusing on animal rights laws in the United States, if those laws are actually being followed and on a wide variety of people’s opinions on this critical topic. One idea I have in mind is to showcase the evolution of visual activism with the advances and changes in technology and how this has influenced the way people are able to portray their opinions on social issues as well as what is now socially acceptable to show which might have been too extreme in the past. I am looking forward to delving further into this topic as well as seeing what my peers have chosen and being able to help and provide feedback on their work as well as receive constructive feedback on my work.