If there’s one artist you should remember after attending last weekend’s Figment NYC, it’s Carlo Sampietro. The Italian-born artist displayed his work, “PopDogs,” at the Governors Island interactive art exhibit. His work, which stands tall at 14 feet and contains 1,000 dogs, spews forth these dogs from a giant popcorn machine. His work of art is a commentary on overwhelming birthrate of dogs worldwide. Today, there are more dogs worldwide than can be properly cared for–the work of art spills toy dogs out of the machine at an alarming rate, confronting viewers with the reality that these animals are being abandoned, ignored or destroyed because of their overpopulation.
The artist wanted to specifically focus on four cities where dog overpopulation is the greatest–New York, Paris, Shanghai, and Rio de Janeiro. Four large pop-dogs boxes surrounded the main popcorn machine, representing overpopulation in the other three cities. The installation also included an interactive area where kids could paint toy dogs and learn about the responsibilities of dog ownership. “Today, more dogs are bred throughout the world than can be properly cared for, the consequences are difficult to ignore,” says the artist, Carlo Sampietro.
Sampietro is very smart with his method of displaying his installation; when a popcorn machine is left unattended, the popcorn overflows, much like the dogs that are bred throughout the world every day. Not all of them can be taken care of. Through his installation, Sampietro exposes viewers to the psychological cycle of craving, consumption and abandonment that happens when an object of desire becomes unwanted. Similarly, many people see dogs and become emotionally attached and might adopt one, despite the fact that they cannot properly care for it. This leads them to abandon it, where it might become a stray or killed in a shelter.
Later this year, PopDogs will make another appearance in New York City, where experts in the field of city management, dog care and breeding, state-run animal shelters and animal advocacy organizations will all be invited to participate in a public forum. Check out the PopDogs site to learn more about dog overpopulation and exceptional artist, Carlo Sampietro.
What else has Carlo Sampietro been up to? Check out my interview with him 2 years ago on Joonbug.com!
Images via NYC Loves NYC.