Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique  discovering  thesis and processes behind the work.








Conversation between Barbara Daniels and Olivia Ramos.


Barbara Daniels


RAMOS: Hi Barbara, thank you for joining me


DANIELS: Thanks for inviting me back again!


I am looking for a book that reminds me of the series we will be discussing


oh interesting, what book is it?


found it! it is titled Fantastic Planet


have you read it?


no, i haven't


it begins to describe a pet and slowly you realize the pet is really a human


That does sound similar to my work,

I bet I would like it


yes I bet you would


I am now looking at the piece with the ducks force feeding the children


Yes, it's Foie Gras!


It's a delicacy for the animals to enjoy


haha you know .... my partner doesn't eat Foie Gras because of the process.. I had no idea bout it and now it is kind of ruined for me


i have never tried it, but I researched it very carefully before drawing the picture


it is tasty


im sure it must be!


I probably won't eat it again - I was not aware before


and that's really what the work is about - and it's working


im sure the human livers would be tasty, too


I'm not sure I would have a problem eating a human liver


i am happy to hear that you became aware of this process through my art!


ha ha!


a human liver on it's own is no problem, the thought of that liver being part of a living organism that has a life sort of ruins it


yeah, i would also never eat a human liver, or any other part of a human


why not?


because i am a vegetarian!




would you eat a piece of beef that was created at a lab?


never was an actual animal


oh thats an interesting question, i think i would need to understand how it was created


i do like the taste of meat


i just don't want to be a part of the cruelty surrounding meat production in today's world


there is a possible future in which all meats will be create in a lab


im not looking for a meat substitute yet, because i really enjoy vegetables and grains


of course, I am not trying to convert you


I'm just saying there is a possible solution


but that would certainly be a huge step forward for civilization


oh yes i understand


i recently learned how terrible meat production is for the environment


because of the cow farts?


that, and it simply requires so much land and water and resources to create the meat, compared to alternatives


it is not sustainable when all the people on earth decide they want to eat meat


and the shit of the animals pollutes the oceans


 i heard on a documentary recently that 80 billion animals are slaughtered every year to create food for humans


so there are many more animals raised as food for humans than there are humans, its madness!


humans are 9% of the animals we slaughter?


if the numbers in the documentary were correct, then thats right


Barbara Daniels




there is something interesting about the scale of the animals in you work


all the animals are in disproportion to the humans


that is the are much larger


yes, sometimes i need to modify the sizes of the animals in order to convey the ideas better


it is sometimes a challenge to make some of the ideas work


do you think humans are now the aggressors because of their size in comparison to all the other animals?


no, i dont think so


what do you think it is?


im not really sure, but i think it has something to do with humans being so disconnected with nature, especially when it comes to killing other animals to eat


most people are happy to turn a blind eye if they're not directly involved in the process


thats what i used to do, turn a blind eye to it all, but not anymore


yes I turn a blind eye ... it is hard to change


as in it is hard to find an alternative


i understand, it took a long time for me to realize that i wanted to change


but i am learning now that there are great alternatives, and for me it is the beginning of an exciting new journey in life


tell me about about that


how does one go about a new life in this case


well, i used to eat meat every day. Now I am discovering that there are so many delicious vegetables and other foods to eat


Through my research for my art i have learned about so many terrible things we as humans do, and it is nice to know that i am no longer contributing to some of those things


so i guess the new life in this case is changing old habits


some of your pieces are using humans as pets or recreation



Barbara Daniels




yes, my art looks at our interactions with animals in all aspects of life


in every scenario, i simply flip the roles of the humans and animals and see what happens


with the pet pictures, it seems more difficult to interpret the results, i think


people are often a bit stunned and confused looking at the picture of dogs breeding different kinds of humans, but this is what's happening! reverse, of course


how would you describe your idea world? no pets and no zoo


definitely no zoo, i think zoos are unnecessary and strange and send the wrong message to children


the topic of pets is more difficult. I love cats and dogs, and they have been integrated to some extent into human culture.


I would just never buy pets from breeders. But I would adopt dogs and cats from a shelter. I have already done that.




what do you see wrong with breeding ?


it creates unnatural animals with deformities and health problems


the animals suffer as a result, but we just think they look cute


I agree with the deformities and problems


not sure if I can say what is natural and unnatural


yes, actually it is difficult to say what is natural or not



Barbara Daniels




how do you move on from this series?


I'm not really sure, but I think I will keep doing this series for a while


im planning on self-publishing a book of this series of work soon


i just have so many more ideas that i haven't done yet, so i will just keep going until there are no more ideas!