Is This Art? Or Animal Abuse? Animal And Dog Lovers Be Warned…

October 18th, 2007 | by Ginnie | (Visited 1,031,249 times)

Related Animal Abuse Stories On The GinBlog:

Recent Updates To This Story:

  • From Raven of (4/24/08):
    I wrote to PETA about this, and this is their response:

    Many stories-sometimes conflicting-have been circulating about these events, and it has been difficult to verify the reports that we’ve received.
    Because the initial exhibit with the dog took place in Nicaragua, which has no cruelty-to-animals laws, Vargas cannot be charged with a crime at this time.

    Our investigations department is aware that Vargas will participate in a show in Honduras in November. It has been reported that a Honduran group, the Honduras Association for the Protection of Animals and their
    Environment (AHPRA), has secured the event organizers’ word that the event rules will prohibit animal abuse. PETA’s caseworkers are monitoring this situation and will take further action if we get word that Vargas plans to repeat the exhibit with the dog. People often
    commit heinous acts in a bid to gain attention, so it is important to refrain from encouraging them by giving them the attention that they clearly crave. For more thoughts on this issue, please visit

    Exactly what happened at the exhibition in Nicaragua last year may be uncertain, but it is clear that millions of homeless animals are at risk of starvation, disease, violence and death in our own communities right now. To learn more about things you can do to make a difference for these animals, visit

  • NBC10 Webisode Video on Vargas (Thanks Jim!)

dog2.JPGThis is one of those things you come across and just have to blink a couple times and ask, “is this real?”. In fact it is.

Guillermo Habacuc Vargas had 2 children catch this dog. He paid the kids for this. He then chained the dog and used the dog as “art”. He told everyone not to feed this dog. The dog died in the gallery. He calls himself an artist. I call him an animal abuser. In that event, (in which the dog died) he was chosen to represent his country in the “Bienal Centroamericana Honduras 2008″.

Animal Abuse


Starving Dog


Starving Dog

There is a petition to ban him from this event, which you can visit by clicking this link.

After reading that and digging around, I found this site with a little more information on the incident:

A Costa Rican artist found himself in hot water with the animal protection people in his home country after using a starving, sick street dog as part of an exposition in Managua, Nicaragua, in August. Guillermo “Habacuc” Vargas allegedly found the dog tied up on a street corner in a poor Nicaragua barrio and brought it to the showing. He tied the dog, according to furious animal lovers, in a corner of the salon where it died.

Here is another link about the incident as well, although it’s in another language and I’ve been unable to translate it thus far.

There will always be cultural boundaries and different definitions of what is defined as “art”, but I’ve always maintained that any sort of suffering is pointless. Especially when something like this was preventable.

If this post strikes you, here are a few links to do something about other dogs stuck in terrible conditions:

Save A Dog – Foster A Dog, Save A Life

Can We Help You Keep Your Pet – Abused Dogs

Help Stop Dog Abuse

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1,033 Responses to “Is This Art? Or Animal Abuse? Animal And Dog Lovers Be Warned…”

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  1. 601
    Esteban Says:

    La verdad que los artistas tienen la libertad de crear y transformar cualquiera cosa en arte, sin ir muy lejos, el gran Picasso realizó una cabeza de toro con el sillin y el manubrio de una bicicleta, otro como el desaparecido Mamzoni enlato sus excrementos y le pusó el nomnre M….de artista, la artis ta Gina Pane se cortaba con una hojilla su cuerpo e iba dejando marcas de sangre en su vestimenta blanca y hay muchas maneras de decir las cosas, de darlas a conocer o de ser famos 5 minutos como creo que lo dijo Andy Warhol… todo esta bien el artista puede reinventar, ver diferente, aunque en el caso de Gina Pane me pareció siempre un acto masoquista.
    Pero en este caso del “artista” Guillermo Vargas Habacuc, me parece, y pienso que es así, un acto de terror hacia un animal indefenso. Creo que como” creador” tiene el derecho de inventar e imaginarse, o si quiere ver el proceso de la vida a la muerte es muy simple, le doy una idea es que haga lo mismo con su persona a ver como siente él mismo en carne propia el hambre y la sed. Así, el tendra un testimonio real de esa transformación y les dire que dentro de unos meses nadie se recordara de esta “manifestación artistica” y sólo quedara en el recuerdo lo qque disfrutaron o se deleitaron con este acto bochrnoso e indolente vulgar y macabro. Porque la vida es sagrada, no es porque seaun animal, un pobre perro, porque hay perros que viven bien y son tratados con amor y respecto por sus dueños.
    Creo que el señor Vargas debe continuar en la reflexión en sus busquedas pero favor, que reflexione si tiene sentido de continuar a sacrificar más animales o bien que sea el que haga la experiencia con él mismo….yo soy un pintor..

  2. 602
    jean Says:

    oye esta bien q el arte tenga su propio estilo o cosas asi pero por eso no podemos hacer arte acosta de animales o personas y si el maltrato aun peor xq no ese tal guiillermo habacuc no le gustaria q elo agarren y lo vean asi es un pendejo maricon qe no sabe que es arte punto

  3. 603
    joanne Says:

    I am absolutely disgusted by this. I am an art lover but inflicting pain on a defenceless animal for little reason is just appalling. I cannot believe that this was allowed to happen. Particularly implicating his children in such a repulsive act too.

  4. 604
    nina Says:

    Please, Guillermo, do us all a favor and DIE. You are beyond EVIL and you deserve the worse. You sick, disgusting, poor idiot.

  5. 605
    leonorcool Says:

    This act is a crime, an artist constructs does not usurp lives, does
    not kill defenseless animals to cover the talent deficiency as Habacuc
    did. It is puy sad to know that ademas this patetic psychopaty
    received approval of galeria, that becomes complice of so brutal
    abuse automaticamente, tortuta and murder. I hope that the authorities
    do something with this pathetic personage.

  6. 606
    Don Branducci Says:

    Disgusting being Vargas, make sure this act of cruelty you have committed will not go unpunished, someone will tie you up and leave YOU for dead and take pictures and will be called “What goes around comes around, Dead of an excrement that calls itself a person…”

    Por si acaso no entiendas ingles, bestia ignorante, aqui te traduzco….el acto de crueldad que haz cometido no pasara sin que seas castigado por el hecho, alguien te va a cazar, atrapar y atarte del pescuezo con una soga y dejarte morir lentamente en una esquina de un bano publico sucio entre excrementos donde perteneces…y se llamara, “Lo que haces lo pagaras, muerte de un excrememento que se hace llamar una persona….”

    Lo dicho hecho sera…..

  7. 607
    Sign petition, "Artist" leaving dog starve to death. please read. - MabinogiGuru Forums Says:

    [...] it. Sign this petition to ban him from this event. here you have an english article more detailed. Is This Art? Or Animal Abuse? Animal And Dog Lovers Be Warned

  8. 608
    Graham Lester George Says:

    Dear Senor Vargas,

    If what I read is true, then you have committed a very cruel act which reflects badly on you as a human being. The world is full of suffering committed in the name of greed and self-regard, so if you did commit such an act on a frightened and defenceless creature – in the name of art – it is indefensible. I do not wish you any physical harm, in fact I wish you a long life so that you may reflect on what you did (assuming that you have a conscience) for many years to come.

  9. 609
    Silvana Says:

    ….y a este SALVAJE le llaman “senor” y “artista”?

  10. 610
    Rachel Says:

    This is just sick, i’m appalled that this has been allowed to take place. Why don’t we tie the artist to a wall and don’t feed him, all in the name of art of course and see how he copes with all the stress and pain. All I can say is what goes around comes around. To harm a living creature on purpose is unforgiveable!!!

  11. 611
    Mike Says:

    There is a line between art and cruelty.
    This is cruelty. What was the purpose and his idea???

  12. 612
    Carla Says:

    This is the worse thing I’ve ever seen, I can’t believe someone is so sick to kill a dog in front of people I can’t believe no one did anything. Waooo that is really bad, and I can’t see any art in that, there is no creativity at all. It’s really bad and nasty it make me sick.

  13. 613
    Fatima Duenas Says:

    I can’t believe the ignorance of this creature. God gave us all common sense and the ability to use our brains… He was only thinking with his supposed “creativity” not his heart.. Let’s not worry, God will do justice on him sonner or later…. You pay for all your sins here on Earth… ANIMAL MURDERER!!!!!!!

  14. 614
    Jen Says:

    I think the “artist” should be stripped naked, placed in the same exhibit (chain and all) and starved for a few weeks. I’m sure he would rethink his opinion on what is considered “art”. There is nothing beautiful or creative about torturing a being with feelings. I can’t imagine how painful and frustrating that poor animal’s last few days must have been. This man’s actions are absolutely repulsive.

  15. 615
    Pastel Says:

    Basically, he got what he wanted. If no one knew him before, now the whole web knows who he is, possibly for the wrong reasons, at the cost of the life of an animal. Let’s not forget those people who went to see his exhibit and did nothing about it. I hope they all suffer fron slepless nights.

    One day it would be wonderful that people would be famous for doing the right thing. Sad planet we live in.

  16. 616
    Fiorella Says:

    I wish they could post his picture, that way I know what he looks like and go to Costa Rica and hunt him down. Maybe we could do a exhibition of him chained in the wall with food all around him. Maybe we too can be artist and push our creativity to the maximum. I really hope he has a painfull death.

  17. 617
    Sofia (Argentina) Says:

    “Artist”?? This person is sick! He deserves a painfull death and to be treated like a beast.
    This is the worse thing I’ve ever seen.How come peolple went to the exhibition and did nothing? Poor dog!
    I wish I could have this “artist” in front of me…

  18. 618
    Albert Einstein Says:

    Propongo declarar artista a todo aquel que extinga una vida.
    Propongo un premio al arte a quien extinga a Guillermo Vargas Habacuc.

    Sugiero consagrar a Adolfo Hitler el mayor artista de todos los tiempos

  19. 619
    Albert Einstein Says:

    Let’s declare any criminal “artist”
    I propose an “Honoris Causa” PHD in art to the human being that extiguish the life of Habacuc

    I propose to consagrate Adolf Hitler the greatest artist of mankind

    An of course, let’s eat dogs alive


  20. 620
    gillian mciver Says:

    I am so disgusted by this. But it is not his crime alone. I would like to indict the Gallery that allowed/encouraged him to do this act of vileness, and the “artlovers” who attended the spectacle, and the persons who proposed him to represent his country in this biennial.

    The act itself, while crule and viel is an example of the misuse of art, an insult ot all artists.

    For this reason I call for a total boycott of the “Bienal Centroamericana Honduras 2008″ and of the gallery, from formal participation in all and any regional and international art event.

  21. 621
    Mayra Says:

    Prosecute this man.

  22. 622
    Barny Says:

    I suggest this artist to do repeat for this exhibition,
    but this time he should tie HIMSELF beside the dog!

  23. 623
    Rafael Rothschild Says:

    yeah… I agree, but we should also prosecute all of his clients, who knowingly by this type of “ART”

  24. 624
    Hilda Jacobsen Says:

    Quien puede llamar a tal castigo arte? Es increíble que tales barbaries se permitan y aun mas a un indefenso, no tengo palabras para expresar mi indignación.

  25. 625
    Sergio Says:

    Guillermo Habacuc Vargas should be tied in his stupid event… I would hope he has the balls to present himself tortured as “art”. What an asshole!

  26. 626
    Renee Edge Says:

    very sad…

  27. 627
    veronica Says:

    Incredible that this is allowed and considered “ART”. Needs to be stopped.

  28. 628
    PF Says:

    I think a contract on the artist’s head would just be perfect…

  29. 629
    silje Says:

    I feel sick now, after reading this.

  30. 630
    Brianna Says:

    it’s terrible, i agree. but too often we get caught up in single instances and we don’t look at the big picture.

    i volunteered in Costa Rica in the recent past and the truth is that there are many animals living like this… not necessarily being tied up and left to starve, but for a sheltered american like myself, it was astounding to experience the vast number of stray and starving dogs in the streets. unless you’ve been there, you have no idea how heartbreaking it is to be followed around by a mangy, scrawny dog that simply stares up at you with a sad look in its eyes. there is no established humane society or similar organization to help this situation.

    and that’s only the animal population.

    people there are living in extreme states of poverty while we sit comfortably in desk chairs in our air-conditioned offices, enjoying our ability to read. don’t pretend it’s not happening. i’ve seen it with my own eyes.

    all i beg of you is this: don’t get caught up in the seemingly single most prominent issue. look past it to find the source of this tragedy, and do something to fix it.

    what if we helped places costa rica to establish a humane society that would benefit both the animals and the people who could find employment there?

    if this is your passion, i invite you to share it here:

    my hope is that through spreading awareness, we can sincerely bring about some serious change.

  31. 631
    bastard Says:

    you are a son of a bitch, you will die like this poor dog, in your own exhibition…

  32. 632
    Madame Medusa Says:

    How could anybody stand by and let this happen? The people who allowed it are as guilty as this charlatan who calls himself an artist. I hope he dies a horrible death himself, and the sooner the better.

  33. 633
    ophelia Says:

    If this artist was so worried about the amount of stray sick animals on the streets, why can’t he do something positive about it, take an active more caring approach to helping out these animals that need it, start getting others involved to HELP the animals that need it. But to make a point by taking a poor sick dog and letting it die like that is abuse, murder, torture. This is such bullshit. This artist needs to be chained up and starved, in his own exhibition.

  34. 634
    gabriela Says:

    i absolutely agree with ophelia and madame medussa: he is a bastard and he should be put in the same situation in which he put that poor animal. …he should be in jail, in solitary, in the dark, chained to the wall sitting in his own feces. … i don’t approve of the death penalty, but when i see or hear about this kind of torture and sickness, i certainly would love to have this bastard called guillermo whatever get the same treatment he dispensed.

  35. 635
    Elvia Says:

    The museum curator that allowed this atrocity should be fired and the museum should be closed. This sick individual needs psychiatric help as well as be tied to starve. Many more people need to be outraged and speak out!! There is strength in numbers!

  36. 636
    Alejandra Says:

    Guillermo: Estas lleno de odio y desamor. Sos la peor victima de esta historia , porque ese animal esta durmiendo acurrucado en los pies de Dios. En cambio vos te condenaste al peor infierno y pronto pagaras por tu crueldad. Cristo regresa pronto y a e
    El vas a tener que responder.

  37. 637
    Miguel Says:

    He just shows the hypocrisy that rules in the heart of this culture. I bet there are thousand of strayed, hungry and abused dogs in Nicaragua and nobody does anything for them, as in the exhibition itself nobody fed the dog, or tried to free it or asked for it to be fed or released. I think it is a shock tactic, and a bold one too, directing to himself the hatred of the big public, as I can see clearly in these comments. Well guys, look around you, if you are so shocked with this ‘art’ take a look at the world you live in and you will find things a million times more unfair,shocking and worthy of making you disgusted and undignified, so stop moaning about this poor dog and maybe try to do something to make the world a better place. And hey, to some of you that put all those violent comments, I bet you eat cows and pigs too… now they are normally tortured during their life into their death and we eat them with blind eyes…

  38. 638
    Andrés Furcas Says:

    Le deberían hacer lo mismo al pseudo-artista asesino ese… Pero lo que resulta más increíble es que la galería haya permitido semejante atrocidad, y más aún, que ninguno de los visitantes del museo haya hecho algo para salvar al animal.

  39. 639
    skat_man_3000 Says:

    Although unlike Guillermo they should not fear for their personal safety, those that stand by casually with their hands in pockets are as guilty as the “artist”.

  40. 640
    Sigrid Says:

    This so-called artist should have the same fate, so the people who attended the exhibiton and did nothing about it.
    It’s terrible the negligence of our countries towards abandoned animals. They don’t care, nobody does. The government should get involved, so the community. It is unbelievable that this poor animal died tied up sourranded by heartless people.
    Hey Guillermo, I curse you to the same fate, I curse you to be as miserable as this dog was, I curse you to be poor, unloved and abandoned. I curse you to have a long unhappy and miserable life. Amen.

  41. 641
    Greg Moore Says:

    Miguel should be ashamed of himself. His arrogant comments are the equivalent of suggesting that we dramatize the plight of people in Darfur by finding a healthy person, chaining him to a wall and letting him starve to death. Miguel’s claim that the artist was motivated by concern for starving dogs is ludicrous; a compassionate person would not cause suffering to make a point. The exhibit’s obscure message on the wall said, “You are what you eat,” not “Please help the starving dogs of Managua.”

  42. 642
    Greg Moore Says:

    No excuse

  43. 643
    Archive - Bohemian Philosophy » Blog Archive » Power Dog #1 Says:

    [...] Since we are on dogs, this is insane (via Lancerlord; dog & animal lovers, be warned). I like and support art but there should be a [...]

  44. 644
    Ayla Says:

    I think it’s a fake. I haven’t found any evidence that this guy is for real.

  45. 645
    Carolina Sharps Says:

    I cant believe that we are in 2008 and that still goes on. There should be a sentence for people who abuse animal and I think the best one should be to meke them go through the same thing they did to the animal. At the end of the day, everyone says LIFE SHOULD BE FAIR so I think is fair they get the same the give.

  46. 646
    Lola Says:

    Please do something about this call the police to put him in jail .THIS IS THE WRONG THING TO DO STOP IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WHAT KIND OF PERSON WOULD DO THIS STOP IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. 647
    Luis Jacinto Says:


  48. 648
    Fernanda Says:

    Hi.I’m from montevideo, uruguay.
    I can’t believe that! It is horrible. I think that something have to do with it sick person.
    He can’t to take the freedom. He is a KILLER

  49. 649
    Hannah Says:

    Each person that walked past this dog and chose to do nothing is as guilty as Vargas. This is a horrific example of animal abuse and deeply saddens me. To do nothing to reach out to help speaks volumes about the lack of compassion and decency of each and everyone of these people. I hope none of you find yourself in a similiar situation one day, needing the help of someone and find that no one bothers to care.

  50. 650
    paula Says:

    me parece el colmo como gente tan inhumana puede estar haciendo daño a cualquier animalito inofensivo, y lo peor de todo que sea recompenzado por dicho error, me uno totalmente a la gente que odia y repudia este acto tanto como yo, no podemos dejar que gente como esta si es que se le puede llamar gente a a este individuo, siga comentiendo dicho acto.

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