Controversial Dutch Artist Bart Jansen Turns His Dead Cat into a Helicopter

by , 06/10/12
filed under: Art, Design, Gallery

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Dutch artist Bart Jansen has caused controversy and angered animal groups by converting the body of his dead pet cat Orville into a remote-controlled model helicopter. Orville was tragically killed by a car, but rather than letting go and burying his pet, Jansen decided that the best way to “honor” the dead cat was to turn into a quadrocopter with a rotor attached to each outstretched paw. It is not the first time Jansen’s work has been met with outrage, but this is the first time he has sought to pass a dead cat off as “art.”

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The story has, unsurprisingly, gone viral, provoking both outrage and disbelief, but Jansen is standing firmly behind his creation. Writing on his website, the artist described the cat-helicoptor hybrid as “The Orvillecopter, half cat, half machine – named after the famous aviator Orville Wright. He was killed by a car. After a period of mourning he received his propellers posthumously.”

“For the cat lovers: it’s a tanned hide, just like the shoes you’re wearing,” Jansen added. “Soon to be flying with the birds. Oh, how he loved the birds.”

Working with model airplane pilot Arjen Beltman, Jansen made sure that the rotor blades ensure maximum flight stability while a plastic undercarriage allows for a “dignified landing”. Surely whatever dignity Orville once had has long since gone.

Unsurprisingly, Jansen has received a lot of hate mail with people calling him “perverted”, “sick” and a whole host of other colorful adjectives. “It’s a macabre way to honor a beloved family member,” PETA told MSNBC. Orville is currently being exhibited at an Amsterdam gallery as part of the KunstRAI art festival where online interest has driven the price tag up to €100,000.

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  1. Vogel Filschner February 25, 2015 at 4:16 am

    i’m sure it would be much more interesting if bart did the same with a dead relative. imagine one of his parents or siblings limbs outstretched (but clothed of course!)flyin with the birds amid shouts and guffaws of ‘art’-goers.. oh surely that relative would’ve loved to fly provided of course, that landing would also be dignified.

  2. Donna Fernstrom October 27, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    People have extra funny ideas about what is ‘appropriate’ when it comes to the deceased. They walk around with key chains, sofas, and car dashboards made out of leather. They make hats with raccoon tails. They walk all over sheep’s hides. These things are not considered disrespectful – but tanning the fur of one cat, who was presumably cared for by his owner prior to his death, is seen as wrong?

    Or is it the humor involved in what was done with the fur? How dare we laugh at death! Death isn’t funny. It’s painful for the survivors, or supposed to be, right? We’re supposed to be miserable! How dare you not be miserable! Shame on you for your lack of despair and fear! Right?

    Death is terrifying. Death is tragic. Death is sorrowful. Death is inevitable. Death is a part of life…

    Yes, this is art. If it made you think, for even one moment, about why you are outraged, then it is definitely art.

  3. Angry1959 June 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Bart Jansen is no artist, he is a pure sick individual who needs to be locked away from society. I was so angry, when I seen this video on the net, my children also seen it and I had to hide it away from them. I am glad I am not living in the same country – I sincerly hope he is punished by the authorities for his sick behaviour. That poor cat had the misfortune of losing its life due to being run over and instead of laying it to rest -he has treated it this way. He is no hero, he is a very sick man. Some people may find this funny – its anything but – I dread to think what else he is capable of if he can do this to an animal!!!

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