The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill sits in NYC’s Greenwich Village somewhere between Jekyll and Hyde and Samba Sushi, blending in quite well with the other shops on the crowded avenue. At first glance, it’s an “exotic” pet shop. What looks like live animals are animatronic creatures playing with your sensibilities and unearthing what really lies behind our face-value ‘processed’ beliefs.
Animal testing muse: The cute and cuddly bunny moves her head as she applies her make-up at the vanity mirror. Nail polishes and powders at her side. Not so cute, when you think about it?!
Real Cost of the Coat: The wild spotted beast sits with his back towards you on on a tree branch in the store’s window. Its tail moves cautiously. A large bone rests on the ground. Passerby’s make astonished comments and are disgusted that a leopard is being ’sold’ in a pet store and encaged on a pedestrian street.
Once inside, on the other side, you notice that the animal’s belly is brilliant red. Before you can gasp, you realize that it’s the shiny red satin lining of the coat pretending to still be live. The message is pretty clear. The shock and awe of the art value is brilliant.
Don’t forget to notice the the little chicken nuggets outside the hen house, fish sticks swimming in a bowl, the chimp watching his relatives on TV, the hot dogs in tanks, and the snake-like bologna in the photo gallery below. All exploring the process we seldom pay any mind.
The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill
89 Seventh Avenue South
(Between West 4th Street and Bleecker Street)
New York, NY
–October 19, 2008