Factory Farming and the 50 x 50

Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica

Fran Osborne, Free Range Pigs Grazing, animal husbandry, freedom, animals

Free Range Pigs, grazing

Cow at Tilden Park, Beef cow, free range farming, animal husbandry

Cow at Tilden Park Farm

Downer, Beef farming, Factory Farming, Fran osborne

Factory Farm Beef Cattle

Factory Farm Hog, animal confinement, Fran Osborne, oil painting

Factory Farm Hog

Fran Osborne, Factory Farm Dairy Cows, confinement, oil painting

Factory Farm Dairy Cows

Factory Farm Hogs, Fran Osborne, oil painting, farm animal

Factory Farm Hogs

Free Range Cjicken, fran osborne, Oil painting

Free Range Chickens

Free Range Chickens, Oil Painting, Fran Osborne

Free Range Chickens

Chickens, Free Range, Fran Osborne, oil painting

Free Range Chicken

Free Range Cows, Tilden Park, Fran Osborne, oil painting

Free Range Cows

Title list

Yesterday I installed my 50 panels for the 5th annual 50 x 50 show at the Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica, opening on Friday 23rd August. I am at the end of what has been a grueling and emotional process. The idea is a simple one, and requires that each artist produce a 6″ x 6″ work, every day, for 50 days. The 2013 show is juried by Lonnie Lee, founder of the Vessel Gallery in Oakland, and will display work by seventy artists.

Oh my. The challenge is indeed mightier than it seems. The fifty panels are displayed in a 7 x 7 grid with the fiftieth one placed to the side, along with the usual bio and statement. The idea of doing a small piece of work every day appealed enormously at first but I always seemed to be behind schedule, did not begin on the appointed day, and probably spent too long making the whole composition make some kind of sense. 

My theme is Factory Farming, and builds on work I’ve been doing at a much larger scale earlier in the year. I have to admit that I did feel uncomfortable hanging my work amidst a range of sunny landscapes and abstracts. The central panel with “67” refers to the space a battery caged hen has for its entire life – 67 square inches. I am neither a vegetarian nor a vegan but want animals to be reared with compassion and respect. If we are to continue eating meat, then we can encourage higher standards by limiting our consumption to pasture-based and free-range meat and by eating less of it. Come along to the Sanchez Art Center on August 23rd for the opening reception and download my title list and thumbnail images here: Title list

If you are at all curious about this process then consider applying next year and challenge yourself to grapple with the many questions the project might raise for you.


6 thoughts on “Factory Farming and the 50 x 50

  1. Fran, huge congrats for this project! I have been to this exhibit before , and plan to attend this time. It is fabulous!

  2. Fran, you tackled an important subject with these paintings, a cause near and dear to my heart! So beautifully done! We need more awareness of the realities of factory farming, and you have done a great job! I am a vegan, and factory farming is one of the reasons why. Can hardly wait to see this exhibit. Best wishes for lots of success!

    • Many thanks Nancy. I’m not sure about my approach and how it sits in the rest of the exhibit but once I’d started, I had to finish it. Would love to talk more about the whole issue. I’m meeting with the executive director of the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition soon – ffac. They are based in Berkeley and maybe we can do a whole collaboration/exhibit/show event to shake things up a little. I would love to do an event that included performance and installation and video as well as painting. Wanna join in? For me, as long as this whole thing remains ‘out of sight, out of mind’ nothing will ever change and the damage being done to our environment and our bodies is a nightmare. Look forward to seeing you on Friday – there’s some beautiful work there too.

  3. Pingback: Assessment 3 | Philipp Henry

    • Hey thanks for adding my images to your post. After a long break doing other work I’m about to start blogging again and have a whole new body of work to post. So glad that you are taking on this subject – obesity and factory farming and the whole f’d up food chain in the US are making people sick, sad and obedient. Keep up the good work!

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