A Vegan Meat Locker with a Heartbeat Favorite 



May 13 2010


New York City

"Brooke Shields is one of 200 famous faces that the artist Jonathan Horowitz identifies as vegetarian in head shots he has hung on the white-tile walls of a former meat locker in the south Village. Horowitz, 44, swore off meat at the age of 12, after his parents took him to a bullfight on a vacation in Mexico.

Alec Baldwin, Henry David Thoreau, Tina Turner, Prince and Merv Griffin are among the others whose celebrity portraits are included in “Go Vegan!” — a 2002 exhibition that has been reconfigured for the space, which was recently vacated by Pat La Freida Meats and still reeks of butchered beef. Now the art dealer Gavin Brown is expanding his adjacent gallery into it. At its inauguration Sunday afternoon, guests were served a tasty meatless lunch of barley and lentil salad by Mina Stone, along with hummus and a delicious, if deadly sounding, lentil-and-walnut pate sent over from Angelica’s Kitchen.

As the tables on the gallery’s rooftop terrace were cleared, Shields surprised everyone by strolling into Brown’s existing gallery with her entire family in tow. The walls were blank, but the eight-inch-wide marble tiles striping the floor beneath her feet were part of an exhibition by the British artist Martin Creed, who inventories his work with numbers. (This is No. 1051.) He designed the floor with 120 different kinds of marble in a variety of patterns and colors. It looks grand and can be customized to suit any home for a price that Brown did not disclose, but that is probably very grand indeed.

Horowitz looked nervous when his dealer led Shields into the old butchery. Because he had downloaded the celebrity photos from the Internet, the artist wasn’t actually sure whether the actress, who had come from a Mother’s Day matinee of “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” the off-Broadway play in which she is currently starring, was still a vegetarian or not.

She seemed sympathetic as Horowitz pointed out the paired billboards he had installed on the exterior of the building. One pictures a pack of skinned animals hanging from meat hooks, the other a flock of innocent chickens basking in sunlight. The captions say: “If you wouldn’t eat a dog … then why would you eat a chicken? They’re just as intelligent.”

Inside, Shields and her children studied the many photos of adorable baby lambs, cows, piglets and more chickens. Horowitz had them printed on eco-friendly bamboo plywood. He also had downloaded these images and lined them up on the white-tile walls in a grid of 32 photos each."


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