‘Porkopolis’ exhibit takes on animal industry

By Blair Hagelgans

“I always love going to the art exhibits and seeing the creativity people have. The animal exhibit was very different, but interesting to interpret and view,” said Megan Feely, A York College Sophomore.

York College Galleries feature art exhibits all year round. The current exhibits theme is, “Sue Coe, Porkopolis, Animals and Industry.” The gallery will be open from Jan. 20 to Feb. 20, with a lecture from Sue Coe on Feb 18.

Courtesy of graphicwitness.org; featured work by Sue Coe.
Courtesy of graphicwitness.org; featured work by Sue Coe.

According to the brochure, “legendary art critic Donald Kuspit has called Sue Coe, ‘the greatest living practitioner of confrontational, revolutionary art.” Coe attended the Chelsea School of Art in London and the Royal College of Art. Her art is featured in many major institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

The Animals and Industry exhibit at York College features pieces created over many years. Some are from the 1980s, and others are newer pieces from 2015. There are a mix of color and black and white compositions. Different styles and forms of artwork are displayed throughout the exhibit there are woodcuts, lithographs, photo-etchings, silkscreens, as well as other techniques, which are all forms of printmaking.

Coe’s artwork depicts animal abuse. One piece that stands out shows farm animals and a girl in black and white with the words “Go Vegan and Nobody Gets Hurt” in bright red. Many of her works portray farm animals in human-like scenes to grab the audience’s attention.

Coe also has a section that portrays circus animals and the cruelty they can experience. She expresses how they should be released and not kept in captivity. For example, Coe has a piece called, “She Packed Her Trunk and said Goodbye to the Circus.” This is a play on words because in the artwork an elephant is portrayed breaking out of the circus. The trunk refers to the elephant’s “things” and the trunk on its body. Along with elephants, Coe brings many other circus animals into her artwork.

Coe’s artwork is very diverse and themes often make attention to the stopping of animal cruelty, especially with livestock.

“Her artwork is very powerful and makes you see this type of animal cruelty in a new way,” said Lindsey Ogle, a York College sophomore.

York College Galleries present many different types of artists and artwork during the school year and the upcoming exhibit, Luba Lukova: Graphic Guts starts Feb. 24.

Featured image: courtesy of Santa Monica Museum of Art.


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