Sunaura Taylor Favorite 

Practitioner: 

Date: 

May 26 2015

Sunaura Taylor is an artist, writer and activist. Through painting, printmaking, writing and other forms of political and artistic engagement her work intervenes with dominant historical narratives of disability and animal oppression. Taylor's artworks have been exhibited at venues across the country, including the CUE Art Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution and the Berkeley Art Museum. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant and an Animals and Culture Grant. Her written work has been printed in various edited collections as well as in publications such as the Monthly Review, Yes! Magazine, American Quarterly and Qui Parle. Taylor worked with philosopher Judith Butler on Astra Taylor’s film Examined Life (Zeitgeist 2008). Taylor holds an MFA in art practice from the University of California, Berkeley and is co-founder of the disability arts collective Yelling Clinic. Her book Beasts of Burden, which explores the intersections of animal ethics and disability studies, is forthcoming from the Feminist Press.

Taylor uses her background as a disabled person whose disability was caused by US military pollution and her life long dedication to animal ethics, to explore issues of value, suffering and person-hood. Her painting Culled Male Chicks in a Dumpster, represents hundreds of newly hatched male chicks, who have been discarded and left to die. They are of no use to industry and so they are seen as valueless. Her drawings explore these and similar issues in a more satirical and comical way. Many of these works expose the parallels between how animals and disabled people are treated, metaphorically co-opted, valued and devalued.

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