11:32am

Wed October 16, 2013
The Salt

Banksy's Latest Work Takes On The Meat Industry ... With Puppets

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 10:55 am

Banksy, the mysterious British graffiti artist known for his satirical work, has been making mischief around New York City this month.

His latest artwork makes a statement about the meat industry, or lost innocence — or something like that. In any case, it'll certainly make you stop and look.

It's called "Sirens of the Lambs" and it features a bunch of cuddly puppet animals peeking out of a truck, squealing (or at least squeaking) with fear. The truck, labeled "Farm Fresh Meats," started its rounds in (what else?) the Meatpacking District, and it's set to tour the city for the next week and a half.

The piece is somehow hilarious and horrifying at the same time, like an episode of The Muppets gone terribly wrong.

One look into those animals' unblinking glass eyes will obliterate any fond childhood memories of playing with Teddy. And judging from the video posted on the artist's website, the installation has already been terrorizing children around the city (one kid is shown screaming as he runs away, and the closing shot is of an inconsolable baby).

But the audio guide that accompanies the piece (accessed via an 800 number printed on the truck) seems to have a good sense of humor. The narrator starts off by saying, "This is a piece of sculpture art, and I know what you're thinking: Isn't it a bit — subtle."

The audio guide also explains that the animals are controlled by four mime artists, who sit inside the truck. Banksy apparently used to work at a butcher shop, which might have inspired the sculpture art.

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