By Cat Jones
Last Friday night seemed like such a celebratory moment from here. It was raining in New York, but I had a show that night, and made the rent, and was so relieved to have that settled. Wallace, on the other hand, turns out to have had a much different kind of night. He was on the other side of the country, dying of an overdose. He was 27 years old. Continue reading
This is the fifth in what will be a series of 19. There were 19 horses who lost their lives at Saratoga last year to the racing industry. All will be represented in the ghost horse series.
As I live in the Hudson river valley, not far from Saratoga, I’m familiar with the grand facade – galleries filled with glamorous paintings of racing horses, expensive shops catering to wealthy tourists, and a town that worships the racing industry in the way any city kneels before the capitalist altar that feeds it. But I’m also aware of the dark underbelly in a way that makes me hate the pastel- covered tourists, the casual gamblers, and especially the horse “loving” profiteers who make their living off the broken bodies of animals who deserve much better. Aside from the dramatic deaths on the track, when fragile bodies are pushed too hard, there is also the sponging, drugging, culling, and other forms of abuse that are the pervasive way of life behind the scenes. It’s not just Saratoga, either. Literally hundreds of racehorses die every year over $2 bets. And when their careers are over, if they survived them anyway, even winning horses often wind up in slaughter houses. Even Kentucky Derby winners are not spared… there is no guarantee of the easy retirement these animals deserve.
It was a walk down a street in Saratoga Springs, at the height of the racing season, that made me want to find a way to paint the real face of horse racing. Continue reading
This is the latest iteration of a piece I started just a little over a year ago, concerning a dark night of the soul experienced on a ledge over Brooklyn in the fall of 2015. A nod to Saint John.