Inspired Art 02/13/14
We chat to vegan eco-artist Amy Guidry about her striking surrealist paintings that explore the connections between all life forms.
Amy Guidry is a vegan painter whose thought-provoking work looks closely at the delicate relationship between all life on this planet and the complexities of the life cycle. She took some time out to speak to us about her art.
Tell us about the intention of your work?
The series that I am currently working on is called In Our Veins and it explores the connections between all life forms and the process of the life cycle. This includes the interdependence of the human race to each other and to the rest of the animal kingdom, as well as the planet itself. One cannot exist without the other, therefore it is of the utmost importance that we care for each and every living thing. Of course I believe this is important not just for the survival of the planet, but also out of a moral and ethical obligation as well.
How would you describe your style?
Contemporary Surrealism. I’ve been influenced by the Surrealists (ex. Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte) ever since I was a child. I’ve also had a great interest in psychology at a young age, and Surrealism was inspired by Freud’s ideas on psychoanalysis.
What are some of the responses people have to your work?
I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of great response to my work. I’ll hear from someone I’ve never met because they wanted to let me know how moved they were by a painting. I also get a lot of questions about my process and about the concept behind my work which gives me the opportunity to share my ideas and hopefully inspire others.
What do you think the importance is of creating art?
For me, and I think this is true for many artists, my art is my platform for getting my message out there into the world, sharing ideas, and getting a much needed dialogue going about issues that I feel are important.
Why did you first decide to go vegan?
I started off as a vegetarian for a few years. That came about because I was doing some research in the library for a Biology/Ethics class and I happened upon some books concerning factory farming. I thought maybe it was a one-time occurrence, so I did some further investigating and found numerous resources reporting the same horrible conditions and treatment of animals. I became a vegetarian on the spot. About three years later, though, I decided to become a vegan after realizing I was still financially supporting factory farms as long as I was eating eggs and dairy, not to mention the cruelty that is still inflicted upon “dairy cows” and “egg-laying hens.” I’ve been vegan for almost 15 years now.
Why do you think veganism is important?
For numerous reasons I think veganism is important. First, I believe that all animals have a right to life and are not put on Earth for the sake of human beings. We all share this world together and each have a purpose, and to upset that delicate balance has a domino effect on all of us. Veganism is a vital part of preserving our planet. If you care at all about the future of the planet and the type of environment your children and grandchildren have to look forward to, then you should become a vegan. We know for a fact that agribusiness is ruining our planet with pollution and clearcutting of forests because of their massive operations whose sole concern is money. It is also because of this greed that their workers must endure horrible conditions and adhere to ridiculous rules (i.e. no bathroom breaks) in order to meet requirements and kill so many animals per minute. Health is another concern and veganism can be a part of a healthy lifestyle. Obviously there are delicious vegan desserts out there (everything in moderation!), but many vegan dishes contain the protein, whole grains, healthy fats, and vegetables required for optimum health. Studies show that vegans have the lowest rates of cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
To see more of Amy’s work go to: