Titled “Empty the Cages”, the project consists of dozens of pieces of art featuring Witz’s signature trompe l’oeil style placed throughout London. Each piece is being fitted with a QR code which automatically directs mobile phone users to a new PETA website where they can learn more about the meat industry and order a free copy of PETA’s vegetarian starter kit.
“Like most artists, I’m interested in exploring what society hides from itself. As a human, I’m concerned with injustice. But, like most people, I feel powerless to do anything about the downward spiral our planet seems to be taking. But, as someone who operates in the public commons, with my street interventions, sometimes I get the opportunity to directly address this frustration, to provoke a dialogue about issues that matter to me.
It wasn’t until the anti-whistleblower ag-gag laws began passing in the United States that my attention was drawn to America’s animal agriculture industry. Further exploration revealed unbelievable depths of abuse — perpetrated against not only farm animals, but also the environment. Climate change, deforestation, wildlife extinction, water waste, air pollution and ocean dead zones (among other things) are all directly attributable to meat, dairy and egg production. And then there’s the merciless ways in which these deep-pocketed and powerful entities treat their employees, not to mention the local irreversible environmental damage.”
It’s truly unconscionable what these corporations get away with, day in and day out with seeming impunity. This is why when PETA UK invited me to partner with them on the Empty the Cages project, to raise awareness surrounding animals raised for food and their dire plight, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. If encountering my pieces brings this topic to anyone’s attention, then art matters, because life matters, and I’m satisfied.”
For more information, please visit emptythecages.org.uk