Pigs, tattoos, art: Researching Belgian artist Wim Delvoye's installation artwork, Cloaca--a room-sized series of pumps, tanks, and tubes that simulates human digestion (a critique of the art world, he sells autographed byproducts of the machine for $1000 a plop, er, pop)--I came upon another of his recurring themes: tattooed pigs. In his project's most recent incarnation, last summer, he sought to tattoo poems on 23 piglets, anticipating that they'd grow--and the poems with them--to 300 kg by the end of the summer. Another protest against the notion of art as investiment--paintings increase in value just as the poems grow with the pigs, he says. While the work is controversial from an animal-rights perspective (as a vegetarian, Delvoye claims he's humane in the tattooing, and he actually extends the life of pigs destined for slaughter), it's also created a minor stir with a certain artist: Andy Feehan--who tattooed wings on a pig named Minnesota in 1976, before turning the needle on his hairless dog--says Delvoye swiped the idea from him.

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