Whether you’re talking dogs playing poker or the most recent Pixar movie, animals have always held a heavy presence in several art forms. In many ways, art has provoked animal lovers to take up animal-centric causes, with various movies, paintings, and photographs inspiring activism. Art is an important tool in activism and often does an unparalleled job of tapping into our emotions.

Recently, it seems like animals have been all over the art world; famous artists have used animals as powerful subjects, and animal artists have used their talents to raise money and awareness for their fellow animals. Check out this selection of six impressive works and creators of animal-centric art.

— Anthony Armentano, exclusive to Global Animal

Last month conservation artist Asher Jay created a digital billboard protesting elephant poaching and ivory trade alongside March for Elephants. The installation currently graces New York City's Times Square 24 hours a day. Photo Credit: Asher Jay
Humans aren't the only ones who can create brilliant works of art. Arbor the rescue dog uses her painting talents to raise money for less fortunate animals. One of her paintings, "Hope Through the Rubble," raised $1,000 for victims of the Oklahoma City tornado. Photo Credit: Facebook
A photograph can often capture more than words, and Jo-Anne McArthur's work does just that. McArthur has dedicated her talents as a photographer to capturing the fear and torment animals undergo in various industries. Her photographs were recently the force behind award winning documentary, "The Ghosts In Our Machine." Photo Credit: Jo-Anne McArthur
World-renowned artist Banksy unleashed a particularly disturbing installation entitled "The Siren of the Lambs" in New York City's Meatpacking District earlier this month. Disturbing can be powerful though, and Banksy's project proved to be an informative criticism of factory farming. Photo Credit: Banksy
If you thought Arbor was impressive, take a look at Hallie the blind painting dog. Hallie was taught to paint before an autoimmune disease left her without her vision. All her work goes to benefit dog charity, Purple Heart Rescue, and can be bought online. Photo Credit: KOMO-TV
One of the strongest cases for activism through art has no doubt been 2013 documentary, "Blackfish." A sure Oscar contender, the film has since gone on to inspire a great deal of criticism towards SeaWorld, and has many rethinking the morality of keeping killer whales in captivity. Photo Credit: Chris Gotshall/AP Photo

More Stories on Animals in Art:

Banksy Brings Animal Awareness To New York

Times Square’s Art For Elephants

“The Ghosts In Our Machine” Gears Up For U.S. Launch

The Someone Project Warns, ‘Think Before You Eat’

Picasso Pooch Paints For Oklahoma Pets

Shelter Cats Create Paw Print Paintings