The cobblestone streets of Manhattan’s Meatpacking District haven’t run red with the blood of livestock in years. Better known for sleek clubs in the Bloomberg years than meat-processing facilities, the neighborhood is getting a stark, squeaky reminder of its past courtesy of the British street artist Banksy.
"Sirens of the Lambs," the latest installation in his city-wide series of works, “Better Out Than In,” features a barnyard-worth of plush toys poking their squishy heads through the slats of a slaughterhouse delivery truck for Farm Fresh Meats. Their heads sway, mouths agape, anthropomorphized faces seemingly aware of their fate—and they squeal and squeak, loudly, all the while.
“I know what you’re thinking: isn’t it a bit subtle?” the satirical audio tour featured on Banksy’s website says of piece. “Here, the artist Banksy is making some sort of comment on the causal cruelty of the food industry. Or perhaps something vague and pretentions about the loss of childhood innocence.”
After spending today circling the Meatpacking District, the truck and its “60 cuddly, soft toys on the road to a swift death” will drive throughout New York City for the next two weeks.