Monday, January 28, 2008

Barbaro Memorial Statue: No Honor Here!

"The Barbaro Memorial" (work in progress) by artist Daniel Edwards.
Photo: Leo Kesting Gallery

I was shocked and dismayed when I saw this statue depicting Barbaro, the beloved fallen Race horse as conceived by Daniel Edward, scheduled to be unveiled in Central Park in NYC in April.

If this statue is intended as a tribute to Barbaro, it totally misses its mark. When the painful decision was made on January 29, 2007, to humanely end Barbaro's life to prevent any suffering, he was surrounded by loving and devoted people who courageously fought to save his life. His comfort and well being was constantly in the forefront during his treatment.

The inference made in the description for the inspiration of the statue's creation, "forego their own self-interests and act mercifully on behalf of their suffering horse" will certainly be interpreted by those who are not aware of the facts concerning Barbaro's medical treatment and points the finger at Barbaro's owners, only serving to fuel ignorant rumors suggesting that Barbaro's life was prolonged to obtain stud fees which circulated during Barbaro's heroic fight for survival

The truth of the matter is had he overcome Laminitis, the enemy that ultimately brought him down, the odds that he could have stood at stud were slim to none. Live cover is required in the breeding of Thoroughbreds.

"It was reported that in the end, Barbaro was biting at people before he was finally allowed to die with dignity."

I want to know from where this report emanated. Daily update reports given to his fans through the New Bolton Center where Barbaro was treated, consistently contained the words,"Another comfortable night."

Finally allowed to die with dignity? To imply that Barbaro was not given compassionate treatment, constant assessment to ensure his comfort is totally unfair and unfounded. The sorrowful decision to end Barbaro's life was made only when his comfort was compromised to the extent where additional treatment could no longer be rendered without suffering.

"If Barbaro has taught us anything, it is that horses deserve our compassion first.” Yes, compassion, respect and the deep love for this horse funded the tireless care that Barbaro received. He taught us many things, and as a result of the thousands of fans who became involved deeply in his care, untold numbers of horses have been rescued and saved from the horrors of the slaughter house.

To exhibit Barbaro lying on his back, his legs up in the air, is in my opinion a travesty. Daniel Edward's interpretation of Barbaro denigrates the spirit of this great horse who should rightfully be depicted as one who now stands as an icon for the protection, freedom and respect that all horses deserve.


fourhorsegal said...

I usually do not criticize people for their work, but this is just ridiculous! This is more of an insult than a tribute! It is in very poor taste, and offensive. He gets zero stars in my book!

Anonymous said...

I don't even know what to say...I am shocked. This is intended to be a tribute? Is he serious? I am completely dismayed at the lack of knowledge on this artist's part. This seems a weak attempt to cash in on the life of a brave and beloved horse. I think you article is right on and am going to link it to our website.


Jo Deibel
Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue, Inc,
PO Box 62
Glenville, PA 17329
Phone: 717-965-7901
Fax: 866-892-5069

Joanne said...

I think that this artists "efforts" are misguided at best. Barbaro died with dignity surrounded by people who love him still. I think that the artists efforts to bring publicity to the plight of carriage horses and the safety of race horses is admirable but this "artwork" is degrading to Barbaro's memory.

renegade cowgirl said...

I give up! What has become of people these days. How insesitive. Fact is I can't quit crying. Barbaro NEVER was a fallen soilder. He was a very proud and megastic being. He knew this also. Watch him in videos and I swear he stares right at the camera!I also feel he knew his time here in this 'reality' was going to be short and he made the best of it to capture our hearts...and that did! Barbaro is fine and will always be seen with that bull dog flare to his nose when he raced and those ears pinned back...Look at me! As somebody once said to me "everything dies." Well yes it does. But BARBARO will LIVE FOREVER in our HEARTS with that twinkle to his eye as he would look at us through the camera'S. This is no tribute and as being an artist myself, I find it in very BAD taste. Whoever created it must be a very unhappy and sad person. Bon fire anybody? Where is Gram Parson's roadie when you need him?

pamie said...

Art should always have an underlying truth. This is pure commercialism, and a sell-out to artists everywhere.

Art to this man is obviously only a vehicle to fame and fortune, and, in this case, infamy.

donna9331 said...

This is a HORRID "tribute" to the strength and determination of Barbaro. The sculptor must be one sick puppy...Barbaro fought and fought...and to show him "four paws up" is an absolute DISGRACE!

Cheryl said...

GREAT ARTICLE!! I see no beauty or artistic work in this statue attempting to portray Barbaro. It does not represent him at all, as you said so well in the article.
Thank You!!

Anonymous said...

Talk about tacky! If I saw this statue and had NO idea what it was supposed to represent I would still think it tacky.