SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Cans of “parrot meat” gleaming through a North Beach storefront is ruffling the feathers of some neighbors.
The cans, featuring the image of a notorious green Telegraph Hill parrot, is part of an art installment to promote Terrific Store, a new shop owned by local artist Brady Baltezore and his friends.
“The thinking behind the display was to make something unusual and fun for folks to walk by between now and the time we are open for business,” Baltezore told the San Francisco Chronicle.
Fun may not be the first thing that comes to mind for some North Beach residents.
Julie Herrod told Hoodline it’s “the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen in North Beach in the 25 years I’ve lived here.”
But Baltezore said the fake cans are not an attack on the neighborhood’s loud, beloved parrots. Instead it’s ought to make a self-aware statement about Terrific Street, described as a general store with a focus on arts and crafts.
“We thought, ‘How funny would it be to create an installation that made it look like we were going to open a hyperlocal, hyper-sustainable business that was using the most hyperlocal food item?'” Baltezore said. “We wouldn’t harm parrots. We love parrots … In this era, there’s a little too much emphasis on what people’s reaction is to art, rather than enjoying it on its own merits.”
Mark Bittner, author of The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill: A Love Story with Wings, told the San Francisco Chronicle he’s not amused by the joke.
“I understand what it’s supposed to be, but I think it’s just little-boy humor,” Bittner said. “It’s not art. Real artists make powerful, mature statements. This is postmodern nonsense, the inability to be sincere about anything. You don’t create ridicule around something that is pure, but weak. Nature is having a hard enough time from human beings.”
What do you think? Do the parrot cans bother you?