“We saw all these fake Louis Vuitton designer bags. You always read in newspapers about other countries complaining about these fakes and then, as an artist, I’m interested in what’s fake and what’s real. I like to play with ownership rights.”
Belgian artist William Delvoye
At first glance, you might think that William Delvoye’s Luis Vuitton knockoff pig is sort of like those ubiquitous art cows that stampede through Chicago once a year. It’s not. At all.
First off, it’s not plastic or fiberglass or whatever those stupid bovines are made of. It’s a taxidermy pig. And it’s not painted.- it’s tattooed.
Delvoye’s pig canvasses are tattooed in life (sedated, the vegetarian artist points out), and allowed to live out their natural lives on his Art Farm, minus the time spent milling around chic galleries as live, er, stock. Once deceased, the pigs are preserved- either stuffed or tanned- and continue to do the art circuit. While the Vuitton theme is repeated on several pigs, Delvoye’s work covers other designers (his controversial knockoffs of Chanel’s 2.25 handbags created with tattooed pigskin were given a thumbs-up by the Chanel spokespeople), as well as traditional American and Chinese tattoo designs, and Ed-Hardy inspired DouchePigs.