ARTS & CULTURE
11/25/2012 08:46 am ET

The Week In Arts & Culture: Sumptuous Feasts, Hand Turkeys And Transgender Icons (PHOTOS)

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are shaking yourself out of that food coma for the week to come. But before you get out of bed, check out what you missed in the art world this week, from artistic hand turkeys to stunning World War II photos.

hirst

This fall has been a rough month for animals in the art world. First, we found out that British bad boy Damien Hirst killed 9,000 butterflies for a questionable installation at the Tate Modern. Then we came across Belgian artist Jan Fabre's cat-throwing performance video, in which he, well, throws cats up a flight of stairs. This disappointing pair of artsy acts against animals got us thinking... Have artists always been this insensitive to animals' rights?

We did some digging and found 15 instances of artists abusing or at least questionably involving animals in their artwork. From forcing ants to consume McDonald's food in an enclosed tank to shooting a dog as art, the projects span the spectrum of slightly cringe-worthy to downright horrifying.

transgender

Tuesday was Transgender Day of Remembrance, honoring those who died as a result of anti-transgender violence. Since its inception in 1998, the Day of Remembrance has grown from a personal memorial project to an international day of action.

In honor of the date we collected out favorite transgender and gender variant artists, who also function as activists, storytellers, icons and historians through their innovative work. Some have physically transformed their gender or sex, and others choose to live outside gender definitions completely. Some create artwork rooted in their personal struggles, while others turn their lens on areas like immigration or ecological awareness.

color photos

Most photographs from the 1930s and 1940s depict a monochromatic world seemingly removed from contemporary society. The black-and-white images sometimes appear as though they belong in a comic strip, not the photo albums of American history.

Then there are those rare color snapshots, saturated in colorful hues, that transport memories of the past into the present. The Library of Congress is one source for these rarely seen images, thanks to the photographic efforts of the United States Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information. Taken between 1939 and 1944, the government commissioned images wonderfully captured WWII-era American life.

feasts

Thanksgiving is in full force here in the United States, so we imagine that many of our readers are currently in the process of devouring an enormous, multi-course meal surrounded by friends and family of equally rapacious appetites. Or maybe you have already gorged yourself on a cornucopia of turkey and various side dishes and have now slipped into a food-induced coma. Either way, you are celebrating America's favorite feast-worthy holiday right.

Just in case you weren't sure if your festive eating was up to par, we've put together a slideshow of the 15 best banquets in art to help you make your Thanksgiving the greatest feast possible. These works of art span the decadent dinners of the Roman Empire to medieval Europe all the way to 20th century America, capturing the day of plenty in all its sumptuous glory. We just hope you're not too stuffed to take a look.

photorealistic

Which is the copy and which is the original? UK-based artist Amy Robins makes it hard to tell. Here's Robins sketch entitled "Gaya," which is based on a photograph by Benoit Paille. According to Colossal, the 22-year-old portraitist relied on nothing more to render her version than "colored pencils, cartridge paper, and quite a bit of talent."

turkey

BONUS: Last week, we asked our readers to partake in one of our favorite holiday pastimes: the humble hand turkey drawing. We received a lot of great responses from avid Arts&Culture fans who put their Thanksgiving creativity to good use and submitted an impressive array of homemade hand turkeys, which you can see here.

Of the many submissions we received, 15 have stood out as the wackiest, weirdest and most creative homages to the seasonal bird. From hand turkey's inspired by Magritte to Kristen Stewart, check out the slideshow below to see just how quirky your festive artwork can get if you let your mind run wild.

PHOTO GALLERIES
Most Creative Hand Turkeys

We hope you had a happy Thanksgiving full of stuffing and loved ones. Check back tomorrow for more arts news!

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