The Emotional Support Peacock Banned by United Is Now on a Cross-country Road Trip
His name is Dexter. He lives in Brooklyn. He makes art.
He also happens to be a peacock who made global headlines over the weekend.
Dexter the Peacock was barred from a United Airlines flight from New York City to Los Angeles over the weekend when the airline refused to allow him on board as an emotional support animal.
So now, Dexter is crossing the country on a road trip to Los Angeles, and making art along the way.
But before Dexter was a global sensation, he was eeking out a living among other artists in the neighborhood of Bushwick. His owner, a multi-disciplinary conceptual artist named Ventiko, often uses Dexter in photography shoots or books him for events and commercial work.
They’ve been together since 2014 when Ventiko first rented Dexter and his mate for an art installation at the Select Art Fair in Miami. They bonded during the weeklong installation, but after the fair, she gave the peacocks to a farm in Florida. But one day, Dexter’s mate and his chicks wandered into the woods and never came out.
His personality changed and his new owner kept him in a garage. Upon learning this, Ventiko drove down to Florida to retrieve Dexter and bring him back to Bushwick until she could find a more suitable home. Years later, they’re still living together and making art.
“We do not have any doors, except in the bathroom and we all live together in harmony,” Ventiko told the Bushwick Daily. “It's kind of strange that it works so well but rather than question it, I am just accepting the gifts of the universe.”