Pigmalion | Haute Macabre


William Delvoye tattooed pig art louis vuitton knockoff

“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.

William Delvoye tattooed pig art louis vuitton knockoff

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.

William Delvoye tattooed pig art louis vuitton knockoff Chanel

William Delvoye tattooed pig art louis vuitton knockoff skin

Tattoo pig virgin mary William delvoye


23 Comment

  1. As a practicing artist, i do agree that this is a very interesting and Contraversial idea. it provokes a lot of strong feelings (obviously), and puts a lot of our own faults to question as humans. Delvoye may have hit a soft spot for some, but he has cast the light upon human flaws. this is not a bad thing. He isnt doing anything that hasnt been done in the past in the way of animal cruaelty. Delvoye has simply signed/labelled the pigs as his own; the same as a farmer might brand their animals, which is far worse in terms of pain!

  2. I adore tattoos and don’t for a second regret having any of them, I’m currently getting a angel tattoo sleeve down my right arm can’t wait to get it all done! as can only afford smallsittings at anytime. My local tattoo artist is very good and also extremly expensive but, he’s worth it! Fantastic site btw

  3. Well – its the extremity of weird – but at least those tattooed pigs get to live a rather cushy life as art pieces – as opposed to the high density pig farms found in the American MIdWest where they live packed ass to nose in huge warehouses never seeing actual daylight.

  4. Do any of you tree huggers wear leather? How’s that for cruelty? anyone wear wool socks (with sandals I’m sure)? I’m sure the sheep would like to keep his. Get over it. I love the idea and I’m gonna try it myself. I’ll put it up for you all to loath. HA!

  5. “What would have happened to those pigs if they hadn’t been picked up by an unusual artist?

    They would be dinner, or an actual handbag, or dog treats.”

    I agree with what Lara said. If he hadn’t bought the pigs, they would have most likely been killed. Tattooing the pig is not mutilating it and it’s not going to affect it’s quality of life. They can still eat, sleep, oink, and shit like any other pig.Yes there might be some pain afterward while the tattoo is healing, but what about farmers branding their livestock just so they can later be killed and eaten?

  6. What would have happened to those pigs if they hadn’t been picked up by an unusual artist?

    They would be dinner, or an actual handbag, or dog treats.

    Maybe he shouldn’t have tattooed the pigs, but if he didn’t have the desire to do such things, he never would have had a use for them, and wouldn’t have bought them. They would have had some other equally bad or much worse life.
    You’re talking like they would have had some lovely idyllic existence if only that guy didn’t have strange artistic urges. They wouldn’t have. What that guy did wasn’t exactly admirable, but it wasn’t horrific either. It’s a moral gray area, and a matter of opinion. While ideals are lovely, they need to hold up to reality.

    Pigs can’t give consent. They can’t compare the (limited) options for their lives and make a choice. They’ll never be able to do so no matter what happens. Still, if I had the possibilities of a pig, I know which I’d prefer.

  7. Until I see an animal stand up on its hind legs and demanded to be made an object, or wants to be tattooed, then I will deem this acceptable. This is horrid.

    Personally, I think that vegetarians are just as bad as carnivores. It doesn’t make him/her any better for doing it.

    Lara, not all tattoo artists do this, I know plenty of vegan tattooist who do without the harm or use of animals.

  8. Lara, you don’t know if any of us already have done ‘some actual useful animal rights activism’, so shut it =)
    People put themselves in pain for art, yes, but the keyword there is ‘themselves’. As was mentioned before, consent it essential/paramount.

    So if I raped someone i had roofied, it’d be o.k, because they were sedated and got the chance to live out the rest of their life blissfully? Of course not. Tattoo’s hurt afterwards too. It’s called healing.

    Tattooing a dead pig is one thing, making a live one undergo unneccessary pain fr the sake of ‘art/attention’ is something else.

  9. Everybody needs to calm down. People put themselves through pain for body art all the time, it’s hardly fatal or long-term damage, and if the pigs are knocked out then the pain is probably quite minimal. The pigs don’t care if their butts have LV print on them, and having a natural-length (probably even longer then average natural lifespan) life as a tattooed pig is hardly the worst thing that could happen to them.

    Beginner tattoo artists use cuts of dead pig to practice on, meat which would have just been eaten anyway.

    Confronted with stuff like this, everybody speaks up about the poor pigs. This is a rare case and not at all a bad life for the pigs. Animals of many kinds are put through much worse things for the sake of art. Before you get all in a huff about tattooed pigs, try doing some actual useful animal rights activism.

  10. maybe that sounds if i’m somebody who isn’t interested in art. that’s not true. i only think art shouldn’t legitimatise cruel behaviour. i even feel it’s ashaming for other artists that something like that is named art.

  11. why should anyone even compare this to raising pigs to slaughter them? i think, we don’t have to discuss that raising pigs+slaughter them is cruel.
    in my opinion we should compare this tattooing of animals (which is absolutely cruel too, in my opinion. everything you do against the will of any creature and what hurts a creature is cruel), to a good and species-appropriate animal husbandry.
    there IS an alternative. we don’t have to choose between tattooed animals and raising pigs+slaughter them.

    I don’t know that it’s like in other countries, but in germany, it’s possible to buy meat from small farm’s where the pigs had a good life.

    something like tattooing animals should be forbidden.

  12. comparing this to raising pigs to slaughter them, i don’t think this is horribly cruel. pigs raised for meat have it much worse. these pigs are sedated and get to live out a natural life.

  13. I remember a case maybe ten years back where a lady was sentenced on animal cruelty charges for piecing her pet goat’s ears. There is no way you could do this thing with the pigs in the USA and not be called out for animal cruelty. I am very much a meat eating individual and do not equate them the same rights as humans. But as an artist I think there are some lines that should not be crossed even “for the sake of art” and intentionally disfiguring another living being is one of those lines. I can appreciate the intent of the artist, but the same effect could have been achived by using pigs from the slaughter house that were already dead.

  14. I like how he uses a Murakami LV print for one of the tattoos. It just amuses me how one artist’s subversion/interpretation of branding is so blindly referenced in another. Like someone trying to retell a joke only they forgot the original punchline and instead made their own equally amusing anecdote.

    but that has nothing to do with tattooing pigs.
    Personally, I don’t care either way on the ethics of it all. I feel like Belgium is one of those countries that is just full of pig farms (they say Flanders has more pigs then people) and as such are completely desensitized to the rights of pigs given that they are seen mostly as… a commodity.

    In that light I think this project is interesting not in a “oh, shock value, live beings as art, etc.” kind of way but more a look at breaking down luxury, commodity, and to a lesser extant branding. But then that’s just me adding my own notes between the artist’s lines.

    Animals as commodity is nothing new. Farmers heat up metal signatures and burn that into awake livestock to denote ownership before they eventually kill them. This guy sedates pigs, tattoos them, then let’s them live out peacefully completely unaware of their modifications. Unless we’ve got a particularly vain pig. Then I think we have other problems.

    I’m also someone you should probably not listen to when it comes to such ethics. I eat animals and I am a terrible human being. It makes me willing to accept everything at face value. Being a terrible human being, not eating animals… eating terrible human beings?

  15. This is just awfull. I hate LV. And I also hate mindless “artists” that use living creatures for “art”. About emotions in art; Yes art should indeed evoce emotions, but these days I only get shocked and not touched in any kind of emotive way. At some point the shocking thing in art just becomes plain boring and irritating if you see it that often. And then I’m talking about the wrong kind of shocking.

  16. I’m not saying that I agree with it, especially considering how we all know I feel about the LV monogram, but what I will say for it is that art’s purpose is to instigate emotion. It doesn’t necessarily need to invoke feelings of joy or happiness, but as long as it’s doing something, the purpose is being served.

    That being said, I still effing hate the LV symbol.

  17. I usually find this website inspiring and thrilling, but this I find repulsive and cruel. It’s not “art” to force your creative vision on a fellow living being in such a self-serving and heartless manner. Would sedating and permanently disfiguring a human be considered “art,” I think not. As a vegan, I find this so called “vegetarian artist” pathetic, violent and disgusting.

  18. Part of me thinks this is cruel, part of me fantasizes about having a tattooed pet. I’m conflicted, but this is fantastic either way.

  19. Sedated or not, I still don’t like the idea of a vegetarian artist using pigs like that.. Obviously he sedates them, because the pig would probably attack him from the tattoo needle pain.
    What an asshole.