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   Undertoad  Friday Sep 22 11:01 AM

September 22, 2006: Elephant painted for art

It's not exactly a happy animal shot but we are light on those right now, for whatever reason. What we have here is actually art, by kisrael's recent definition in the naked-woman-holding-live-pig IotD: Art is what you can get away with.

In this case a British street-ish graffiti-ish artist named Banksy has painted this elephant as a part of an exhibition in LA.

The exhibition is about global poverty and injustice.

The Daily Mail snarks:

The elephant, named Tai, was given a floral, nontoxic paint job for the 'Barely Legal' which ran from Thursday until yesterday at a warehouse in the city.

Cards handed out at the opening, which attracted such celebrity guests as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, read: "There's an elephant in the room. There's a problem we never talk about. The fact is that life isn't getting any fairer... Twenty-billion people live below the poverty line."

The world's population is only estimated at 6.65 billion people.

Ms. Jolie was moved to spend $360,000 on Banksy works, so in one sense the guy got away with it. But in another sense he didn't. Three days ago, animal control in LA revoked his permit, saying it was abusive to paint the animal and force it to just, well, stand there. Which leads to the Guardian's question, how do you clean an elephant?
"With a power-washer," says John Ray, deputy director of Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire, who has been working with (and washing) elephants for 20 years. "That's good for getting rid of loose skin. You hose the elephant down, then ask the elephant to lie down on its haunches - they are trained to understand 'lie down' - and scrub it with a brush and soapy water, starting from their back to their feet. We use a horse shampoo. You have to pay attention to the areas they can't clean themselves, such as their trunk where it joins the head, and their tail, then rinse them with tepid water."

wolf  Friday Sep 22 11:10 AM

Did he leave a bit over the back of it's spine unpainted?

Iggy  Friday Sep 22 11:17 AM

"... Twenty-billion people live below the poverty line."

The world's population is only estimated at 6.65 billion people.
I would like to know how they figured that out. Is the point for them to exaggerate or what? Where is the remainder of the 20 billion people if there are only 6.65 billion people in the entire world? Must be a typo.

dar512  Friday Sep 22 12:52 PM

And in the immortal words of Bill Cosby's Noah, "Who's going to clean up that mess down there?"

Beestie  Friday Sep 22 01:19 PM

Originally Posted by Iggy
Where is the remainder of the 20 billion people
He's including middle earth which, apparently, is another thing we never talk about.

xoxoxoBruce  Friday Sep 22 06:20 PM

Well he got away with it and generated some press. Unfortunately the press he got, wasn't about the point he claimed he was trying to make, but that's ok.

I don't think the elephant was abused any more than taking them away from their native habitat in the first place. Tai got to hang out in a pretty posh warehouse, eat snacks, watch all the people and maybe pee on a persian rug.

Unlike the politically incorrect, dyed baby chicks (who can't snuff you out in a heartbeat ), I doubt Tai will be discarded or abandoned after the show ends. The chicks were used as a live toy and live critters don't do well in the toy box.

zelda253  Friday Sep 22 06:53 PM

You guys are so wonderfully witty. I thought I would take lessons from you by lurking for the past week before I jumped in. I get more of a belly laugh out of your comments than I do the pictures.

capnhowdy  Friday Sep 22 08:11 PM

At least he'll get one helluva massage when they go scrubbing the paint off.

I don't think you should do things like this to animals since they don't have the ability to refuse. IMO this may be art. But it ain't cool.

Wonder what the 'peter' people think about it? Not that I care.....

capnhowdy  Friday Sep 22 08:13 PM

Oh. And welcome, zelda253

wolf  Saturday Sep 23 02:07 AM

Originally Posted by capnhowdy
I don't think you should do things like this to animals since they don't have the ability to refuse. IMO this may be art. But it ain't cool.
Nobody felt this strongly about the sheep poetry ... I suppose it's because we don't perceive sheep as having as much of a personality as an elephant.

Ibby  Saturday Sep 23 04:55 AM

Originally Posted by capnhowdy
I don't think you should do things like this to animals since they don't have the ability to refuse.
I've only met a few elephants, but I assure you, if the elephant had a problem with something youre doing to it, unless youve beat all the willpower out of it over a period of many years, you'll DEFINITELY know. An elephant that could squish you with one foot has a lot more ability to refuse than, say, a child.

miss_chance  Saturday Sep 23 01:38 PM

I want to take an enormous dump on a Persian Rug in the name of art.

I bet I could even get a grant for it.

I'd like to call attention to the 200 billion people in the world who have never relieved themselves on a Persian Rug.

limey  Saturday Sep 23 01:50 PM

Originally Posted by wolf
... the sheep poetry ... ...
Where's this, please?

wolf  Saturday Sep 23 03:11 PM

It was an IOTD in 2002.

footfootfoot  Sunday Sep 24 10:19 AM


Kill that tusker and hug it. Now THAT'S what I call art.

Karenv  Sunday Sep 24 03:58 PM

If the world is 6.65 billion, then 2-3 billion, not 20 billion is a better estimate of poverty.

I wonder if he knows he matches the wallpaper...

Sundae  Monday Sep 25 09:24 AM

I don't have an issue with the animal rights side of things - I'm with Ibram on that.

My issue is that "the elephant in the living room" is a metaphor. It's a figure of speech. Deconstructing it doesn't give it any more impact in my opinion.

Suggestion of further metaphors he could tackle:
- Up shit creek without a paddle
- Cat on a hot tin roof
- Pissed as a newt

dar512  Monday Sep 25 09:56 AM

Originally Posted by Sundae Girl
- Pissed as a newt
That's a new one to me. What's it mean?

Sundae  Monday Sep 25 10:29 AM

As drunk as a small amphibian
No, it doesn't really make sense, and no-one seems to know the origin.

Have realised while posting this that the last two are similies not metaphores. Oops. Oh well, the idea still makes me smile.

wolf  Wednesday Sep 27 11:44 PM

In America, "pissed" means really, really, really angry. Over the top angry. Screaming yelling ranting miserably angry.

Do newts have really bad dispositions?

I don't know much about actual newts. Being a witch, of course I've turned people into newts, but they retain their human personalities and memories, and don't really behave at all like newts.

No, I'm not drunk. Why do you ask?

Ibby  Wednesday Sep 27 11:50 PM

I got better...

wolf  Wednesday Sep 27 11:56 PM

Ibby  Thursday Sep 28 03:17 AM

Actually, I think it's spelled be'er...

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