Asher Jay’s Cut Throat Captivity

While much of The Animal Museum’s collection consists of historical artifacts offering insight into past and ongoing human/animal relations and the animal protection movement, the collection also features work from contemporary artists and other pieces that document and interpret how we treat other species today. The museum recently acquired four prints by artist, designer, and activist Asher Jay, each of which addresses our treatment of whales, dolphins, and the oceans themselves.

This month’s art-ifact, Asher Jay’s “Cut Throat Captivity,” shows an orca and numerous dolphins leaping from a coliseum surrounded by blood-red water. At the bottom of the print, two figures hack at the dolphins they’ve dragged into their small boat. In small print read the words “Two sides of the same coin/Entertainment and culling/ Stop the spectacle/End the Slaughter.” According to Jay, “’Cut Throat Captivity’ portrays sentient organisms that are capable of the quality of emotions and depth of intra-familial interactions we pride our upright selves with, being captured for entertainment and slaughtered barbarically for consumption.”

A life-long lover of the ocean and its inhabitants, Jay was inspired to create this piece by the Academy Award winning 2009 film The Cove, which addresses the dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan, and surrounding environmental concerns. Her goal as an artist is to educate and move people in order to create change. “I create to comment, conserve, and contribute,” she says. “It is important for messages pertaining to conservation to find a voice through art, because such alternative media is more likely to connect with the masses than academic presentations involving statistics…. Every piece I generate aims to spur an internal dialogue that can shake one out of one’s comfort zone.”

Read the full interview in a PDF.

Visit Asher Jay’s website at

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421 Colyton Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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