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Wim Delvoye (born 1965 in WervikWest Flanders) is a Belgian neo-conceptual artist known for his inventive and often shocking projects. Much of his work is focused on the body. He repeatedly links the attractive with the repulsive, creating work that holds within it inherent contradictions- one does not know whether to stare, be seduced, or to look away. As Robert Enright wrote in Border Crossings, "Delvoye is involved in a way of making art that reorients our understanding of how beauty can be created." Wim Delvoye has an eclectic oeuvre, exposing his interest in a range of themes, from bodily function, to the Catholic Church, and numerous subjects in between. He lives and works in Belgium, but recently moved to China after a court of law judged his pig tattoo art projects illegal.

Wim Delvoye launched an Art Farm Pigs Growth Fund whereby people can invest in his swine farm outside Beijing in China. This farm, established in 2005, has nine boars and sows which are tattooed with a variety of designs created by Delvoye and three other tattooists in residence. “The pigs art fund will be an official Chinese company which I hope to launch in the next few weeks”, he says. “The new bonds and pig farm shares scheme make the mechanisms of the art market so transparent”, he added.

above: The gates to Wim Delvoye's Art Farm and some of the inked oinkers.

“This initiative is in its early stages”, said Mr Delvoye’s assistant Gianni Degryse. “We may set up a similar bond scheme for the pig farm. People may even be able to purchase one of the animals”.

A vegetarian who tattoos live pigs, in the name of art. Wim claims it's ‘Because they grow fast and they are so much better to tattoo than fish.’

Below are live pigs with Wim's artwork permanently inked on their backs. Project and photos taken at Artfarm China in Yang Zhen, Shun Yi District Beijing, China.

Tire Carvings by Wim Delvoye

Wim Delvoye was raised in Wervik, a small town in West Flanders, Belgium. Though he did not have a religious upbringing, Delvoye was influenced by the Roman Catholic society in which he lived, in particular the religion’s reverence of symbols. In a conversation with Michaël Amy of the New York Times, Delvoye stated, "I have vivid memories of crowds marching behind a single statue as well as of people kneeling in front of painted and carved altarpieces…Although I was barely aware of the ideas lurking behind these types of images, I soon understood that paintings and sculptures were of great importance." Delvoye’s artistic career would later be marked by his ability to manipulate objects.

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  1. This is animal cruelty! These pigs don't want to be tattooed! This guy is a freak NOT an artist. His work was judged by a Court to be illegal. You are supporting a crime by posting this freak's torture of animals. Shame on you. Why not support the torture of little children or show pictures of dead children from gas bombings in Syria. Or show pictures of people killed by terrorists! This is NOT art, this is DISGUSTING!

  2. it is sick.. abnormal !! You are insane people that you are doing this for animals without their permission. Go to the psychiatrist very fast.