Others have done a lot more in the name of art than Damien Hirst. The artist killed 9,000 butterflies for an exhibit. Animal groups are now furious, prompting a new debate about what people can escape with in the name of art.
Earlier this week the Huffington Post was writing about Damien Hirst, an artist who killed 9,000 butterflies for an art exhibit called “In and Out of Love”. The way the artist killed the butterflies has animal groups enraged. The controversial exhibit is at The Tate Modern museum.
Damien Hirst’s installation at the Tate modern included two large rooms without any windows where 9,000 butterflies were left to die. The artist explained that he used a butterfly expert to make sure the environment he had created for them at The Tate Modern was perfect. So, whereas PETA and other animal groups are criticizing him, the artist says his exhibit “resulted in many butterflies enjoying longer lifespans due to the high quality of the environment and food provided”.
The Tate Modern had a similar explanation as they stood by artist Damien Hirst. “The butterflies used in this work were all…selected from varieties known to thrive in the condition created. The butterflies lived out the final stage of their natural life cycle inside the room” the museum said of the 9,000 butterflies in the exhibit.
But animal groups starting with PETA are furious the artist killed so many butterflies in such an unjustifiable way. “Damien Hirst’s quest to be edgy is as boring as it is callous. It does not matter whether Hirst killed the animals himself or sat by while thousands of them were massacred for his own unjustifiable amusement” reads PETA’s critique.
“Butterflies are beautiful parts of nature and should be enjoyed in the wild instead of destroyed for something predictable and unimaginative” a PETA representative added.
This isn’t the first time artist Damien Hirst sparks controversy for his use of animals in artworks. In the past he used a dead shark and a cow’s severed head in a similar exhibit as that of the butterflies. Called “A Thousand Years” the exhibit of 1990 included not only a cow’s head but also everything from blood to maggots.