Canadian artist chops off toe and calls it Art?
The Art History Archive - Contemporary Art


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Canadian artist Victoria Van Dyke has chopped off her little toe, stuck it in a jar and called it art.

Canadian Art News - March 8th 2007.

The self-proclaimed cannibal shocked the world on March 7th when she showed up at an art gallery at 401 Richmond in Toronto with her chopped off little piggy in a jar and asked to show it in the gallery. The gallery (which prefers not to be mentioned) refused to show the "sculpture" and immediately contacted 911 concerned they might have a lunatic on their hands.

Police arrived on the scene shortly after and after discussing the matter with the artist later told the gallery "Sorry, there's nothing we can do. She seems stable and she's done nothing illegal."

Victoria Van Dyke spent two years in a mental asylum (she willingly placed herself there) where she received psychiatric treatment for cannibalism. The artist admits a strong thirst to eat the flesh of humans, but objects to the immorality of killing. According to the psychiatric review board that reviews Van Dyke's case she is safe to live in society and people should not fear having the self-confessed cannibal living in their neighbourhood. Still local residents do grow concerned when told they have a cannibal living in Toronto.

"It makes me worried about my kids walking alone on the street. Someone [like Van Dyke] could take them and we'd never hear from them again or find them because she would eat the bodies." - Gail Andrews, 37.

"I think she should be locked up. We can't have wackos like that running around chopping off people's toes and eating them. Even if it is her own toe." - Thomas Watkins, 52.

"You call that art? She's [expletive] crazy!" - Sandy Miller, 22.

"As long as she [Van Dyke] doesn't hurt anyone I guess its okay, but its certainly not something I'd hang on my wall." - Kerry Ruslim, 27.

No word yet on whether Van Dyke will attempt to sell her toe on eBay, the popular internet auction site. No major art galleries have stepped forward at this time to show the toe in their gallery.

UPDATE: In 2009 Ms Van Dyke received a request from an American man looking to buy the toe (so he could eat it), but she refused to sell it to him. Ms Van Dyke now describes herself as an "ex-cannibal" and admits her mood swings years ago were pretty wacky due to all the medications she was on.

Which begs the question: If we give people lots of strange medications and lock them in a room with art supplies will they inherently make weird artwork?

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