Cowparade (2021), New York, NY
A herd of 78 artist-decorated fiberglass cows was dispersed throughout the five boroughs of New York City during CowParade 2021, a public art exhibition and auction to benefit God’s Love We Deliver. A prime example of the livestock on display was Crown’s BRANDED (2021), which was installed in a high-visibility spot at the Industry City complex in Brooklyn.
Crown painted her beautiful bovine from nose to tail with the logos of high-end luxury labels — marks that humans typically wear as a sign of prestige. Their presence on a cow, however, was meant as a comment on ranchers’ practice of “branding” or scarring living creatures, as well as fashion brands’ outdated practice of using animals’ fur for their own financial gain. While they may be aspirational, brands can also imply unfair labor practices which exploit people, animals, and the land.
With BRANDED, Crown positioned herself as a “firebrand,” a passionate activist who requests that viewers pause and question their own code of ethics when patronizing various businesses.