Animal advocates outraged of NYC Guggenheim museum exhibit depicting fighting dogs

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On October 6, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City will feature a three-month long exhibit  called “Art and China after 1989.” Married couple Peng Yu and Sun Yuan’s feature is a seven-minute video showing four pairs of American pit bulls tethered to eight treadmills. The dogs face each other as they are forced to run on the wooden machines at a high speed. Although they never touch each other, the close ups of the dogs’ faces that were trained to fight is disturbing and ultimately presents another unfavorable opinion of the most misunderstood breed in the United States.

According to the New York  Times, the museum has been trying to tamp down the resistance and ire of animal lovers everywhere, however a statement on their website reinforces their position:

“We recognize that the work may be upsetting,” the Guggenheim said in a statement on its website. “The curators of the exhibition hope that viewers will consider why the artists produced it and what they may be saying about the social conditions of globalization and the complex nature of the world we share.”

Contrary to what many people against the exhibit have stated, the museum denies any dog fighting ever occurred. Yu and Yuan defended their art stating the dogs were never abused and these “dogs are naturally pugnacious.” The couple argued their artwork shared the same message as the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 – the purpose of the sporting event was “the conversion of actual fighting into regulated competition.”

The New York Bully Crew, an animal rescue organization in Patchogue, New York says the exhibits promotes animal cruelty. Dog fighting is a felony in the United States –

A petition to promote cruelty free exhibits at the museum can be read and signed here.

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.

(Photo screenshot via Guggenheim Museum)


Check out some of the photos on YouTube. Do you think this promotes animal cruelty?



24 replies
  1. Mark says:

    Art my ass. I’m sure most of us are very aware of dog fighting and what it does that it’s not necessary to see it in an art exhibit. If they’re doing it for the shock value…..they succeeded!

  2. Adrienne says:

    What is the purpose of this other than to bring out dog fighting and the pit bulls used as the dogs of choice for fighting. People who were not aware of this might come away with the true methods used in dog fighting but others may not be phased about the cruelty and actually enjoy it. Bad move on the part of the museum to show this. We already have enough sick people out there who do this and don’t need to “encourage” others.

  3. ellen cottone says:

    its not art its an animal torcher exploitation exhibit
    so let me ask you.
    where were the animals, these 8 dog’s from .
    what has been their existence in the hands of this chinese couple.
    where are the dog’s now? were they adopted out of a shelter or back yard bread and purchased by the couple and tormented?
    where are the dog’s now.
    this is the back story of suspected animal mishandeling and abuse pretending to be art.

    what a scam.

    if you hire a performance artist he gets to make believe get paid and go home
    that s art. legitimate but crappy art.

    But tying up aggressive dog’s and stimulating flight or fight syndrome is sadistic. and it took a dog life time of aggressive training and inflicting emotional and physical pain on other wise peaceful animals.

    but here’s what makes my blood boil.
    The pit bull is a recent and diffinatly
    an American dog. Chinese are more defined culturally by a jindo dog. so why an american terrier whos rep. we are struggling to soften and redesign.
    their were no American pit bulls in China after or before 1989.
    no body should put a foot in the Guggenheim. they seem a little confused with what passes for high art today.
    we’re not stupid. I will not pay for chained animals upset and displayed to a bunch of toucher thrill seeker perverts.
    Guggenheim for got the difference between art and bull shit.
    the guy who thinks this is ok should be fired
    what the hell !?

  4. Nancy Raymond says:

    THIS IS NOT ART IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM – it is nothing more than exploitation of animals being forced to fight each other – and just another cruelty that the Chinese endorses – in addition to eating dogs/cats. The Guggenheim is doing nothing but promoting animal cruelty and giving lip service to this stupid exhibition that should be torn down. The dogs are victims of two arrogant so called ‘artists’. You can see the scars on the dog’s faces from fighting – this is an abomination and New York & the Guggenheim should hang their heads in shame for allowing this crap to be shown..

  5. ellen cottone says:

    let me guess. you got your hands on a litter of pit bull pups. litter mates. puppy brothers and sisters and you beat them and starved into fighting each other.
    wow that some intentionally disturbing experiments ya got going there.
    what’s the point again.
    this thing you call art, is it really just getting away with murder?

  6. Pamela Bolton says:

    This is disgusting. There is nothing ART about it. It depicts abuse, torture and abuse. This should be stopped and torn down our children have enough trouble in this disgusting world without them having their faces rubbed into this abuse and torture. Shame on the museum for displaying such filth.

  7. ellen cottone says:

    the submissive one with the pleading eyes has old bite marks all over its face. the agressive does not.
    clearly .
    they are brother and sister.

    You explain this to me Guggenheim.
    What have you done?

  8. Monika Offner says:

    This is an unacceptable misuse and mis-interpretation of art, at the expense of an innocent and totally misunderstood dog breed.

  9. Beth says:

    The “artists” (and I do mean that in quotes) lie and say no dogs were fought. But if you look at the dogs faces and chests you can see the myriad of scars of old wounds from dog fighting. This exhibit should NOT be allowed as it promotes a heinous, cruel and evil animal abuse choice by would be criminals (if in the U.S.). No one gives a shit what Chinese culture allows especially when it comes to such horrible animal cruelty. Fuck China. Fuck these artists. And fuck this exhibit.

  10. Aunt Jane says:

    ART??? I guess you can do any vile thing imaginable and call it art! This is beyond disgusting! “So the dogs were never abused and these “dogs are naturally pugnacious” BULLSHEET! This is extreme abuse even without contact! What happened to the dogs later? By the time these sadistic monsters finish they dogs may have to be euthanized! Too sick!

  11. Kelly says:

    The most disgusting, unartistic thing I’ve ever seen. The creator of this is no artist. I can’t believe the Guggenheim would even allow this as art. I will never go there again.

  12. Animal Advocate says:

    This just continues to promote dog fighting , abuse and violence. Would the Guggenheim allow live displays of violent acts of humans ? Displaying an act of rape, homicide , child abuse? Disgusting! With all the ariteork of China they select this?

  13. Lucy Russell says:

    This is most disturbing and vile on a basic human level. As human beings we have the responsibility and privilege to care for all creatures especially ones in our care. I’m horrified this is taking place anywhere, and to see this happening as an exhibit in the Guggenheim Museum…I have no words.

  14. ellen cottone says:
    Stephanie Lewis shared an update on Promote Cruelty-Free Exhibits at the Guggenheim Check it out and leave a comment:


    Guggenheim to Remove Animal Cruelty Pieces from Exhibit
    The Guggenheim posted a statement late Monday evening 9/25 saying they will remove the three pieces called out in our petition from the upcoming show “Art and China After 1989.” This is wonderful news and certainly a victory for the animals! Congratulations to all of you for taking part in something that has effected concrete, positive change for innocent beings and indeed, for all of society….You signed Stephanie Lewis‘s petition, “Promote Cruelty-Free Exhibits at the Guggenheim”, on Sep 23, 2017

    You People stood up to The Guggenheim.

    the people speak and the Guggenheim folds. They folded like a cheep deck of cards.
    You made the Guggenheim lose money, loose face and loose credibility .
    now what about the real victims, the 8 dogs . where are they . we want a follow thru for this Chinese couple and we would like to know the next location of their next showing so we can ruin that exhibit also.
    think the Chinese couple should be investigated to see their other inhuman art at the expense of living creatures this couple must be monitored. they are really satanists pretending to be artists.
    look what they tried to do in NY . The city of a 1000 so called aggressive pit bulls on death row!

    You all stood up to evil and it packed up and left the room.
    Your just awesome. you and with your powerful words. have changed the world. now lets get these 8 dogs out of their malicious hooks

  15. sherry D. hadley says:

    These freaks aren’t artists, give me a damn break. As usual, some people have no regard for animal welfare and promote animal cruelty. We already know how they feel about dogs, spare us your lame defense about these poor pit bulls you are exploiting!


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