Saturday, October 11, 2008


Public art is always so much better when it's not funded by some civic agency or, even worse, designed by committee. I came across two wonderful examples today, the first from the most obvious source: the much-loved, formerly anonymous Bansky, who has opened up his "Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill" in New York's West Village. And obviously this isn't your normal pet store. Or, um, charcoal grill.

Marc from Wooster Collective says:

While New Yorkers have been consumed by the stock market meltdown, a tiny little pet store quietly opened four days ago at 89 7th Avenue between West 4th and Bleeker Street in the West Village of New York City.

There are no puppies or kittens in the windows here.

Instead, a live leopard lounges on a tree in the window.

Or is it?

In other windows, things get a bit more bizarre.

McDonald's Chicken McNuggets sip barbecue sauce. A rabbit puts on her makeup. A CCTV camera nurtures its young.

Clearly this isn't your typical pet store.

Sure, it might not feature any of the graffiti work that made him famous, but Bansky plus animatronics? I am SO there. Conveniently it's open through Halloween, which perfectly coincides with my Crystal Castles trip. And in other New York public art news, another (unsanctioned) project that, while decidedly less ambitious than an entire storefront, manages to be just as impactful despite the fact that it probably took less than five minutes to execute:


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