Tinkebell's Menagerie

OK first thing let me warn you this artist is awesome but controversial. She has been lamb-basted for unethical practices and disturbing content. I think she is brave and honest and is getting a bad rap because people don't like what she is telling them because as usual, the truth hurts. Her practice explores the relationship between humans and animals, in particular consumers and pets. She describes her practice:

The pet is developing from 'man's best friend' into a completely commodified article of consumption.

Pets are no longer bred purely for their function (think of for instance the duck hunt) but are also selected on their aesthetic value and the way in which the animal will fit its (future) urban environment.

Mankind has been trying to dominate the animal kingdom for millennia and this ongoing endeavour will eventually result in the perfect pet.
A pet that can be adjusted to the wishes and desires of its owner. A pet that will be the perfect accessory in daily (social) life.

While her methods may seem extreme I think the fact she is getting people talking (or in some circles screaming) means she hit a nerve. We don't like to see our flaws pointed out to us yet her mirror is big and shiny and bright and the ugly dark thing reflected back is ourselves.

The images here are from the baby bunnies project. For more of her incredible work visit her website.


  1. It is true that a segment of society will buy the "right" colored dog to go with the sofa... But those are the same people who bought the sofa to go with the painting they purchased to go with that side lamp picked up in Paris a few years back. These people should not be allowed children, or animals, or art. But since they can afford it, dogs in purses as a fashion statement is born.

  2. As always, people use fallacies to justify what cannot be justified in a rational way. You're saying that she is making us look at ourselves in the mirror, as if she were somehow comdemning our cruel behaviour. Nice try, but that's something she's not doing, sorry. If she wanted to condemn, if she really felt affected by the treatment that animals recieve from humans, she wouldn't act as the cruelest perpetrator of such sins. She's never judgemental in THAT way; I've read her interviews, I've seen her "performances (walking a dead dog on a leash...)", I've watched her (incredibly stupid) videos, etc., and she acts like a grotesque and derranged caricature of the people she claims to critize (that's the point, you will say: wrong). Wearing stupid, fancy clothes that desperately scream for attention (like everything related to her), looking oh-so-eccentric and overacting her sweetness while she holds in her hands the animal she killed for her "brilliant" work of art. Yes, she tries real hard to give everyone the creeps AND succeeds at it.

    It would help to clarify one thing. What she is pointing out (and I think I'm being indulgent enough, given the fact that her work is so lame I doubt she deserves any respect as an artist) is the eccentricity of getting a pet because it's trendy, or because of its aesthetic value. Not the cruelty of it. I don't think she even claims to do such a thing. That would be, I dare say, slightly arrogant, given her outrageous lack of sympathy towards sentient creatures and what she is willing to do to them just get attention. If you (or her) assert that this is the message, I suggest we kill her and make a stuffed toy out of her. Because, you know, all the killings and inhuman treatment the Western World is responsible for every day, directly and indirectly. I feel we should really make a point to the rest of the world, and what better way to do this than to rid society of such a petulant, psychopathical, 30-something year-old bitch. That would be about as ethical and coherent as what she does to pets in order to raise awareness, even if awareness NEEDS to be raised. The means don't justify the ends and so on. I suspect you get my point.

    What we see when we look at her art is sheer cruelty and detachment. It's a cry for attention. I think a lot of artists make a choice between two paths: one that could lead them to praise and respect, but not necessarily to fame, and another one that assures "fame" to an extent but compromises dignity. Unfortunately, she chose the second one. She chose to be shocking, but not through witt and skill or through a profound reflexion on human nature. She is shocking in an appalling, ghoulish, despicable kind of way. There is no witt, no intelect, no real message behind her. When you see the "things" she makes, you don't stand in awe: you wince, you look at her to examine the face of the supposed fellow human being that was capable of carrying out that act of cruelty IN VAIN. It's sad that you consider her work respectable just because she hit a nerve. There are a lot of ways of hitting a nerve, but that does not make them all right. It's easy to arouse disgust and horror, but not so easy to do so in an intelligent way. I suppose she had to make up for her lack of brains.

  3. On the other hand: the people that pseudo-artist is getting "screaming", as you nicely pointed out, are perfectly aware of how ridiculous it is to choose a pet because it's trendy, or because of its "aesthetic value". Yes, we know. We volunteer at and/or manage animal shelters, we fight for animal rights, we do as much as we can to protect all sentient creatures and to pass on our love for animals to everyone. We try to raise awareness for those who have no voice, because they, too, feel pain. And then comes along someone so twisted and with such an unsettling lack of sympathy that she's capable of turning her cat into a disgusting handbag, claming to make a point about the "ongoint endeavour" of "dominating the animal kingdom". And, what's more, she gets credit for it.

    The reason people talk about her is the same reason why you see dead bodies on every other item of the news. I am outraged as an animal lover, but also, as an artist aficionado and as a human being. I'm ashamed that it is so easy in this day and age to do something gruesome to get attention and succeed at it. My thoughts are with the poor animals that fell into her hands.

  4. First of all thanks for taking the time to write a total essay in my comments, as everything in life one is entitled to their own opinion and/or interpretation of art/literature/music/religion. While I might not agree with this particular artist's method, the fact that she can evoke such an emotional response and action is EXACTLY why I love her work. You obviously have some strong feelings about art and animal rights so why don't you do something about it. Start a blog of your own perhaps. I'd probably even read it! ;)


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