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EAT ME

The painting was created for a open call made by Cafozone, on a theme on factory farming.

2020. oil on canvas, 40x30cm

Factory farming isn’t something that my art is usually focused on. My artworks are about the self, human condition, spirituality, consciousness … But this competition came to me in a perfect moment, when I connected the two. I came across some information about factory farming and was wondering why does it exist? The answer is simple as for any product that is successful – people buy it.  This inspired me to make the painting “Eat me”, as a question to myself and others: are we really going to eat whatever is presented to us? I want to bring back the power to individuals, this knowledge that no matter who we are we have the power to change the world. I sound like a dreamer but the fact is, if we decide that all our choices have an effect and that it has the power to lead the world in a certain direction, then maybe we will see them with more importance and bring some consciousness to every choice we make. Factory farms owners have no power bigger than our own, they don’t finance themselves to destroy environment, abuse animals or make people eat something that is unhealthy for the body. They give an option and people just take it, rather than questioning  what it is. Then I wonder why do we buy it, and I can’t accept that it is because it’s cheap, because vegetables are cheaper for sure. We eat processed meat full of antibiotics that comes from tortured animals and which production makes our earth and air polluted because it’s comfortable, because it’s fast, easy, addictive, and right in front of us. It is absolutely our choice and most of people chose comfort before health, and in the long run before life.  I made a painting where we see a hybrid of a human and different animals that is offering a piece of itself. This hybrid character is unhealthy, tired and tortured, exhausted, and it is our choice to accept this piece of him. It says “eat me” on the offered meat as to show what these factories are doing; their only act is an invitation.  Consciousness is essential to any growth, personal or as humanity, and I think in the connection to factory farming we need to be aware of our individual power of choice. We can choose to eat better not for someone else or some ideal but for our own sake, we can choose to stop paying rent to destroyers of the environment, we can choose to stop paying people to torture animals, we can stop paying to get sick so tomorrow we don’t have to pay to get better, we can choose not to just take what we see dangle in front of our eyes but to choose what we want: I, as an individual, can choose to be part of the solution or of the problem. Not being conscious, and turning the head away saying ‘I have no power’ is a choice as well, the worst kind of choice - to not choose is to not live as a free human being, but as a slave. At the end, that is a choice as well.  I would love that no one chooses to poison themselves as well as our planet but there is no force that I would like to impose on anyone, instead I would like to inspire at least one individual to be conscious and use its power of choice. I made this painting to show that the choice lays within each individual. Even if someone’s choice is not the one I hoped for, I hope even more that it is a conscious choice, made for the individual’s sake. 

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Image copyrights by Jelena Petkovic

 © PETKOVICART by Jelena Petkovic. 

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