Animals are cool.
Maybe you weren't raised on a farm or don't frequent zoos or the wilderness. But at some point you've happened upon a street varmint, domesticated cat or dog, or at least seen a Disney movie where the beasts talk, buy things, go to work, or take on other annoyingly useless human qualities.
We tend to focus on the deep-fried foodstuffs (some of which were once animals, or at least needed a huge amount of assistance from them) of the Minnesota State Fair, but the "Great (this place) Get-Together" is also known for its animal access.
There are large structures dedicated to the judging of oversized and fabulous roosters and pigs, and if you heard a Clydesdale got loose and bum-rushed the stage at a classic rock band's ill-advised reunion tour, you better put your money on the Minnesota State Fair as the scene of the crime.
Fitting, then, that the "Commemorative Art" for this year's fair (August 22-September 2) is of a bunch of animals staring back at you like some shit's about to go DOWN.
This picture was taken by R.J. Kern, and is the first photograph ever selected as the fair's officially sanctioned art piece. A press release says Kern, a Minneapolis resident, "explores ideas of home, ancestry and a sense of place through the interaction of people, animals and cultural landscapes in his photographs."
OK. But let's be honest: This photo is about a bunch of animals that look like they teamed up to rage out on every fool dumb enough to be at the Minnesota State Fair the same year they're there. (You've been warned.)
The dogs look happy, if a little overheated, but that horse on the right is definitely about to nod to its equine brethren to signal that one to nudge one of the cows, who will make a noise that the llamas recognize as their cue to come in high-stepping and spitting.
It is at that point the turkeys will attack low, fast, and mean, which is bad news for you, fair-goer, becuase you will drop some sort of hot new food item onto your offspring, and in your concern for your family will not notice that that big, strong, beautiful pig is cutting your legs out from under you.
It's all over from there. Don't be surprised that it turns out those nice-looking doggos are doing the bidding of the dinosaur-in-fur-coat-lookin' chickens.
Kern's own description of this gang goes like this:
"For this photograph, Minnesota State Fair Supreme Champion Pairings from 2018, I created portraits of the top male and female open-class exhibition winners in the goat, swine, poultry, sheep, llama, rabbit, beef cattle, draft horse and stock dog categories. Moments after being awarded the title 'Supreme Champion' in 2018, the animals were escorted to my photography studio on the fairgrounds (with safety as a top priority, of course). After the 12 days of fun, I composited the portraits together to create the final print. Hidden in the artwork is a little surprise inspired by my children, ages 2 and 3, who love to 'horse around.'”
Our own assessment would be: You've been warned. Enjoy the state fair, Minnesotans, but be prepared to run for your lives.