Origins: For those who missed all the sizzle or didn't understand what was at steak, I've sliced off some excerpts from a 1991 newspaper article which pretty much cuts to the shank of it. Er, lean-trimmed to make this easier on your diet:
Entitled "Vanitas: Flesh Dress for an Albino Anorectic," the exhibit was created by Montreal artist Sterbak to emphasize the contrast between vanity and bodily decay.
It also underlines the contrast between people willing to recognize it as art, and those who would rather take their meat at mealtimes.
Reminiscent of recent clashes between U.S. politicians over the limits of artistic taste, the dress has drawn as much general attention as any Canadian work of art in years.
The reaction was strong.Two hundred people mailed food scraps to Canada's most popular fine arts museum last week to protest the new show.
But most people who have seen it say it's legitimate art.
"It's a powerful piece," Helen Murphy, a museum spokeswoman, said yesterday. "It can be quite repugnant, even to people who eat meat. People just aren't prepared in some cases to say this is art."
The meat dress by Montreal artist Jana Sterbak is on a hanger beside a photo of a woman wearing it. When the meat decomposes after six weeks, it will be replaced with another
Last updated: 13 August 2007
Rowley, Storer. "A Raw Meat Dress Stakes Its Claim As an Object of Art." Chicago Tribune. 14 April 1991 (p. C1). The Washington Times. "Political Art Critics Fed More Raw Meat." 4 April 1991 (p. A2).