Animal Rights in Visual Arts

Topics: Art, Animal welfare, Animal rights Pages: 4 (1203 words) Published: October 1, 2012
Animal Rights in Visual Art.

Vishwa Tailor
Critical Issues in the Studio FA/Visa 1000
Tutorial 8
Submitted to: Eshrat Erfanian
Whether one believes in animal welfare; using animals for the purpose of eating, clothing, etc, or are strongly against it, and are a strong proponent of animal rights, one thing both types of people would agree on would be that animals should be treated in a humane way. While animal cruelty and torture is never okay, the latest fad of torturing animals for sake of art is especially infuriating. There have been many cases and samples of “art” where animals have been objectified and tortured to apparently get a point across. In the past, animals have been used in pictures and paintings, but as the history of art progresses, animals have become an object for the art society. Animal abuse has increased in visual art due to the change in societal norms which have become more tolerant contrary to popular belief that animals rights have increased. Visual arts have been the voice of social commentary and a collective arena to express ideals through metaphoric images. However when metaphoric images give away to the torture and killing of actual living creatures, should artists or the institutions that display their work receive preferential treatment or be held above the law? I believe no matter the intention of the artist an unlawful action should not be allowable. In this essay I will be outlining how animals are tortured for fame; not art by demonstrating the work of Guillermo Vargas, how animals have become an object for the art society; by providing an example from our lecture, and why animal cruelty should be outlawed no matter the arena.

Any art museum directors and gallery curators (and some artists) often use the “art above law” argument in defending controversial exploitative exhibits when it is more than obvious to see that their real motivation is to attract publicity, drive up the value of the art, and...
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