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Susan Kendzulak

Belgian Artist Jan Fabre's Cat-Throwing Performance

By November 11, 2012

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Jan Fabre, Getty ImagesPhoto by Mark Renders/Getty Images

Belgian artist Jan Fabre is possibly regretting his recent art performance in which cats were hurled up a staircase. According to media reports, he has received thousands of angry emails and has been physically beaten when out jogging.

In the court of public opinion, Fabre's action is totally condemned and scorned. What sort of metaphor was he creating? Cruelty towards animals in the name of Art is difficult to support. This got me to thinking about other artists whose abuse of animals were all in the name of art: Tom Otterness who shot and killed his dog, Damien Hirst who used 9,000 butterflies and accused of shortening their life cycles.

Luckily, this list is short. But perhaps there are more. Can you think of any artists who abused animals in their artworks?

On one hand, I like how Art can push the boundaries, but abuse and cruelty seems out of bounds.


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