British street artist Banksy has set up what can only be described as a bizarre and enthralling storefront art project in Greenwich Village. The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill uses animatronics, found art and multimedia to question just about every assumption we make about animals: how we live with them, how we live with eating them and how they live like us.
Some people seem to think this is a vegetarian protest project , but of course it’s far more subtle than that. Even for people who adore meat, there is an internal contradiction when they spend a day doing nothing but playing catch with their dog. Most of us can live with this contradiction; but most of us are not confronted with it so strikingly. Your reactions may very when you see a hotdog where a hamster should be. Whatever Banksy means, you gotta go see his store. The exhibit runs through Oct 31.