On this, the first anniversary of the broadcast of the horrors perpetrated at the Berger Blanc, Tony Fortin, a sculptor of Mont-Tremblant, graciously offered a gift to the Tremblay Administration, a piece entitled Gérald Ironhands at an event orchestrated by the SPA Canada. The unveiling of the work of art, held at a press conference gathering, took place at Montréal City Hall, last April 19, at 2 p.m.
The artist and sculptor has created and given this piece of art, valued at $5,000, to protest the inertia of elected municipal members who do nothing while sustaining deficient and mismanaged practices with regards to animals. An amalgamation of wood and metal depicts the helplessness of the ‘’ voiceless ‘’ of this world, who face the cold political decisions motivated by fading economical interests. Through this symbolic act, the organization is persistently calling for the establishing of public pounds which would reflect the awareness of today’s evolved society and believes the permanent closure of the Berger Blanc is essential in order to initiate the transition. The passivity of Gérald Tremblay means he supports an inadequate system of production and distribution of animals, almost without regulation by municipal and governmental authorities and, from which stems the disastrous state of animal overpopulation. The news of foreseen animal centres to appear in Montréal and in Laval in the summer of 2012 is far from meeting SPA Canada expectations, as only a fraction of the rescued animals will have a chance to make the transition to those establishments.
This donation is, however, a conditional one, which is to say it is to remain permanently exhibited at the very spot it was originally placed and is to remain as such, until an organization of public animal management is established on the island of Montréal. At that time only, will the city be able to part with the piece of art by auctioning same and from which the monies gathered will be strictly handed over to a non-profit organization, actively fighting against animal cruelty, with the artist’s consent. The event will obviously be witnessed by media.
Tony Fortin is an ornamental sculptor who, from now on, is specializing in this type of determined activist art.
Professional biography of the artist
After graduating in 2001 with a diploma in creative wood working from the Institut des métiers d’art de Montréal, Tony Fortin plied his trade and honed his skills in the field of wooden sculpture, eventually becoming, in 2005, an independent ornamental sculptor. He absorbed the artistic influences of sculpted architectural ornaments, commercial signs, and low-reliefs. In the past few years, he has come to express himself through the techniques of encrusted enamelling and direct carving. Since then the artist has dedicated himself to his creations.
His militant past as a defender of animal rights inevitably influences his art, giving it an activist edge. In his relatively realistic style, Tony Fortin loves to preach with irony in order to mock human hypocrisy and decry epidemiological indifferentism. The themes of his art revolve around the brutal treatment of animals and of nature, in a universe that we are consciously destroying a little more each day. He believes that mankind’s exploitation of animals, in addition to being unethical and generally extremely cruel, has dangerous ecological consequences, which are accepted by the majority and resisted by a tiny minority of the population: i.e., vegetarians.
Some believe that he suffers from an extreme form of anthropomorphism. He answers that he has the benefit of having a conscience and the intellectual capacity to make him adopt a socially responsible outlook informed by human compassion.