Pigeon-painting machine turns the rats of the sky into colorful works of art

Pigeons just don't get the same love that canaries, blue jays, and chickadees get. To rehabilitate the images of these vermin birds, artists Julian Charriere and Julius Von Bismarck decided to give them a makeover, creating a machine that draps pigeons and dyes them a wide variety of colors.

Pigeon-painting machine turns the rats of the sky into colorful works of art

The project was conceived for the 2012 Venic Biennale. Charrier and Von Bismarck installed their "pigeon apparatus" in Copenhagen for a week. (Edit: Pessimippopotamus points out in the comments that the piece was initially launched in Copenhagen and then performed again for the Venice Biennale.) Once trapped, the pigeons were pulled along a conveyor belt and airbrushed. Supposedly, none of the 35 recolored birds were harmed in the airbrushing process. The pigeons were eventually released in that ground zero for pigeon poop, Venice's Piazza San Marco, where they could really stand out amongst the gray and black birdies. The project's title? Some pigeons are more equal than others.

You can see photos of the birds at St. Mark's Place on Charriere's website.

Some pigeons are more equal than others [Julian Charrier via designboom via Radiolab]