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Tom Otterness: Paying price for shooting dog, calling it ‘art’

A Brooklyn artist who once killed a chained dog for an art film is embroiled in a new controversy — whether his art should now garnish the New York Public Library.

A Brooklyn artist who once killed a chained dog for an art film is embroiled in a new controversy — whether his art should now garnish the New York Public Library.

Tom Otterness is known for his quirky projects around the city, including bronze sculptures at the 14th Street A/C/E station.

This spring, he was commissioned $750,000 by an anonymous donor to sculpt bronze lions at the Battery Park City branch of the New York Public Library.

But some say one of his previous works should not be forgotten.

In 1977, Otterness, then 25, filmed killing a dog he adopted from a shelter. The flick, “Shot Dog Film,” showed Otterness shoot the small black and white pound dog, killing it, after he chained it to a fence.

Since then, Otterness has repeatedly apologized. But that’s not good enough for some.

“Otterness’ new work won’t be one that PETA members will be rushing to see,” said Colleen O'Brien, a PETA spokeswoman. “Any man who would adopt a dog and then film himself shooting the animal needs a good psychiatrist — not another art show.”


Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter at
@AlisonatMetro.

 
 
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