Venice, Italy, is known for a many things, but one of the most popular ones is the amount of pigeons the city has. The birds are most famously found congregating in St. Marks Place. On a sunny day, the whole piazza can be covered in them like a feathery carpet.
The pigeons, as iconic as they are, are not welcomed by all. Around the world, they carry the nickname “rats of the sky” and they”re not known for being the cleanest creatures. However, during Venice”s 2012 biennial, two Berlin artists decided to make pigeons more appealing.
Or at least the ones they could catch.
The pigeons were treated to a colorful makeover at a booth created by Julian Charriere and Julius von Bismarck. The birds were airbrushed with bright colors and released back into the piazzas. The hope in this rather strange art project was that visitors to the piazzas would see the pigeons as a welcome, attractive part of the scenery rather than as pests.
The pigeons were also treated to a photoshoot following their transformations.
This pigeon doesn”t look very happy being green
Some of the pigeons the pair painted. The bright birds would fly around as eye-catching accents in the Venice piazzas.
The pigeons” makeovers were completely safe and temporary. No pigeons were harmed in the process, although one can”t help but wonder what their take on all this was.