Tinkebell. at Torch Gallery



Tinkebell., the Dutch performance artist best known for making a handbag out of her own cat (above), presents an exhibition of her work at Torch Gallery in Amsterdam starting later this week.


Called Looove TINKEBELL. etwas Spaß für den neuen TORCHmeister, the exhibition surveys her work over the last four years.


Here's some text from Tinkebell.:


etwas Spaß für den neuen TORCHmeister

a show by

from Saturday the 31st of October through Saturday the 28th of November 2009

Exclusive performance by songwriter One Trick Pony on the opening on Saturday the 31st of October from 5 pm-7 pm


Above: Baby Bunnies

TORCH Gallery is pleased to present Looove TINKEBELL. etwas Spaß für den neuen TORCHmeister, a survey exhibition of the work of installation and performance artist TINKEBELL. (NL) of the past four years. Also on show will be the new series ALMOST 18+ for your pleasure (2009) and a limited edition of posters from the photo series realized in collaboration with photographer Mirjam Muller featuring TINKEBELL.’s Baby Bunnies series will be for sale.  The exhibition will be launched with the exclusive performance by upcoming songwriter One Trick Pony (Lowlands Festival) who dedicated one her signature tunes to TINKEBELL. She will perform on the opening day, Saturday the 31st of October from 5pm–7pm.


Above: Her name is...

Looove TINKEBELL. offers a chronological overview of TINKEBELL.’s installations, projects and performances of the past four years. On show will be the central piece of her first project My dearest cat Pinkeltje (2004) that earned her instantaneous controversial fame: a purse made out of her cat. Documents of the performance series Her name is,.. (2008) will be presented together with their main props, three stuffed dogs, TINKEBELL dragged throughout the streets of Chicago, L.A. and Beijing. Also on display will be the documentation of the installation/happening SAVE THE PETS (1) (2008) where a hundred of hamsters rolled around in individual plastic balls transforming the exhibition space into a living installation.



On show at TORCH Gallery will also be her unsettling Baby Bunnies (2008), a series of manipulated stuffed animals that interrogate our consumption habits, as they seem to convert the living and beloved into yet other throwaway commodities. For sale during the show will be a special edition of the book Dearest TINKEBELL., a collection of hate mails received by TINKEBELL., and, more significantly, a full-fledged web-based investigation of those who emitted them. For her series ALMOST 18+ for your pleasure, she embroidered C-prints of visual material found on the website ‘Almost 18+’, sadly known for its daily upload of SM material featuring physically abused young women.


Whether she works with stuffed animals, porn material or hate mails, TINKEBELL. does one thing: she plays with the formless and unspeakable, the object of our innermost fears and desires. She toys with death, sex and everything that leads to that: humiliation, objectification and, ultimately, consumption. The intricate relation existing between the media business (that manufactures representations) and rituals of incorporation (everything and everyone in a media society has become an image to be consumed) is something Adriaan van der Have, TORCH Gallery founder who died this last April, very well understood. TINKEBELL. dedicates this exhibition to him and his son, Mo van der Have who follows his father as the new running director of TORCH Gallery. In memory of Adriaan van der Have who used to call himself the TORCHmeister, TINKEBELL. baptized Mo van der Have, der neuen TORCHmeister.


Above: pages from Dearest Tinkebelle,

TINKEBELL. (1979) was born in Goes (NL) and attended the art academy in Tilburg before taking part to the post-Graduate Design program of the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. She lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


Looove TINKEBELL. etwas Spaß für den neuen TORCHmeister will be running from the 31st of October through the 28th of November 2009 at TORCH Gallery in Amsterdam. The opening is scheduled on Saturday the 31st of October from 5-7pm. Festive opening with special music performance by One Trick Pony. Book Dearest TINKEBELL., and a limited edition of posters from a photo series realized in collaboration with photographer Mirjam Muller featuring TINKEBELL.’s Baby Bunnies will be for sale at the gallery.

Posted on Monday October 26th 2009 at 12:12 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Diego

    I find it hard to believe that such disgusting “work” as this can be featured at a great design site as Dezeen. Animal rights anyone?

  • I think the artist’s work is a form of rejection towards how people treat animals today. Take china for example where foxes are bred to be skinned alive so that their fur won’t be cut while killing them, some of them stay alive after they are skinned. Yet no not alot of people know about that.

    We as human value ‘Pet’ animals a lot more, because in a way they are of a sentimental value to us and in a way that objectifies pets. Just like each person values owning a car or a house…

    I think the artist’s way of representing that is very graphic and somewhat vulgar. But it is sure to get reactions from people. People who would cage hamsters, wear fox, put ‘Tinkerbells’ in their purses like a fashion item…

  • erik


    This is exact the reaction she’s going for..Short kicks!
    That’s very dutch by the way. mr. Wilders does the same thing in politics.
    Ignore it. It will pas..

    Concradulations Tinkebell; you’ve one more comment to put in your book!!!

  • Cr

    @riyadjoucka.com I couldn’t agree more. True. Although, as a designer myself and a vegetarian I do believe that provocation is hardly ever the best way to start a constructive discussion. I kinda believe that Tinkerbell uses the ‘discussion’ motivation as an excuse to make very shallow and easy work.

  • jack the ripper


    thanks for your comment , and if you know of any organisation that fights this barbaric treatment of foxes , please let me know .jack will be glad to support .

  • Maybe I could buy a pet pot-belly pig and be sporting a pot-belly-leather backpack by next season…
    Could in fact be a dangerous precedent, maybe Prada’s next bag range will include My little: Tiger cub, seal cub, lion cub sets, that will become all the rage in Eurasia.

  • Anna


  • horrible haridas

    get that bag out of the cat you evil thing

  • i look fwd to the opening on saturday! the ALMOST 18+ shirts look great.

  • LOW

    OMG I am sooo loving this
    this is way twisted

  • Filip

    This isn’t an animal rights blog, plus how can anyone be completely free from harming other life when the medications that you take have a history of animal testing. The Bank you are with will probably be investing money in weapons manufacturers with their products killing people on the other side of the world so this is a completely hippocritical argument.

    You should focus on the message the artist is trying to convey however controversial it is, it forces you to reevaluate things in your life and to question current practises.

  • val

    Interesting vision of the use of animals like cotidian objects.

    90% of the comments here are product of uncultured…

  • jack the ripper

    @VAL .

    thank you for pointing out our ” lack of culture ” perhaps our sense of morality still primes .

    incidently : ” science sans conscience n ‘ est que ruine de l ‘ ame ” .

    • alex dave

      I think the artist is lacking culture and forgetting the audience.

  • tweetertweet

    OK your cat died and you want to make a bag from its skin, but why such a f****ugly one? At least treat the skin like a precious material and make the best possible bag out of it.

  • Filip

    Still some of the comments on here fail to go beyond the initial shock to identify the message behind the piece. One can still have a sense of morality and view things from an intellectual perspective, which values the concept behind the meaning.

    I think with all the atrocities committed within our past, present and those to come in the future… well we’re in a ruin already and the only way to repair the damage we’ve done is to progress fast enough to find solutions to problems before it’s too late.

  • amsam

    She’s fabulous!

  • Hello;

    Sorry for the late reply.

    I know PITA was helping in the case of the chinese foxes… I saw the whole thing on a PITA video where the foxes were beaten to death and sometimes skinned alive. It is very harsh, but it was my first memory after I saw this work.

    • Beebs

      PETA not PITA: people for the ethical treatment of animals. Sheesh.

  • At Cr, I agree that provocation is a weak way to start any discussion.

    However I think the artist is rejecting contemporary industrial themes through one of her own and provocation could be part of it.

    Think of advertising for example… provokes you to capture your attention, sometimes in a less than a gentle or subtle way.

    People are fed up with ‘save the enviroment’ campaigns and could over look them. But something like this could capture their attention. How could anyone dare to harm their precious ‘pet objects’.

    That was my point. Thank you.

  • Karina

    If the artist's work is a form of rejection towards how people treat animals today I think-humbly- that it wouldn't work. I think people is ignoring increasingly what happens with animals and also other people.
    I think this kind of "work" (which I do not agree calling it this way) incite even more hatred and cruelty against animals.

  • Mary Anne enriquez

    The more I come back to the purse above, the more I feel less reactionary. What is the difference between a purse made of a cat and a purse made out of cow leather, snake or lizard skin, crocodile, alligator, or any number of other animals?

    Her point, questioning why we are more emotionally attached to one animal and not another, is quite thought-provoking. Although my initial reaction was knee-jerk, now I can understand. It’s also one way a person could keep their beloved deceased pet close to them. If an animal dies (natural causes of course) why not preserve the memories of love and affection?

    A cat and a cow are both animals capable of thought, love, feelings and intelligence. Thus, what truly and morally makes one more off-limits for bag-making than another? Honestly, if you wear leather shoes, or have a purse or wallet, aren’t you playing a part in moral unspeakable acts?

  • moyraelliott

    It’s just sad that someone is so desperate to be noticed that she does this. Whether the cat was killed or died of natural causes, the point is she used her pet’s death for purposes of self-promotion.