Animals – Pigcasso pig drawing in an expressive style – Wikipedia

Franschhoek (dpa) – A Pigcasso is actually an ordinary pig. She loves to eat, she loves mud baths, and she loves to be lazy. But the six-year-old maid, who lives in a sanctuary in the grape-growing village of Franschhoek in South Africa, has a very unusual hobby: she paints pictures.

Pigcasso brushes two or three times a week. His bodyguard, Joanne Liveson, paints him a canvas and pots of paint, but the pig does the rest on his own. Through its snout, it holds the brush with a very wide grip and swings its head up, down and right and then back to the left in an arc. There are several breaks in between, with Pepkaso munching on apples, watermelon, watermelon, and other delicacies as a reward.

No influence on Pigcasso’s creative process

Lefson chooses colors, adjusts the canvas, and decides when to finish the picture. The animal lover insists it has no bearing on Pigcasso’s creative process. To demonstrate the absence of a human hand, she depicts making each finger artwork, which Pigcasso signs with a snout at the end. Each buyer will receive a copy of the video, a certificate of authenticity and a photo of the animal artist along with the photo.

Lefson is open about her role as Pigcasso’s human partner: “It’s a human, non-human collaboration.” So Lefson’s name is next to Pigcasso’s signature. Levson describes the work of the pig rescuing a month-old piglet from a slaughterhouse as a “unique gift”. The Pigcasso was actually supposed to be fattened for six months and then slaughtered. But she was lucky. Since 2016, the cow, which now weighs 500 kilograms, has been living in Levson Reserve with pigs, chickens, goats, cows and other sheep.

expressive technology

Lefson, a staunch animal activist, threw toys into the little Pigcasso’s barn, realizing that pigs are “intelligent animals that value entertainment.” But the hare destroyed every ball and only showed interest in a few old brushes. “I said to myself, ‘Maybe there is something,’” says Levson, who once studied art and zoology. “Pigcasso learned how to hold the brush, but developed her expressive style herself,” says Lefson.

Pigcasso painting was just a hobby until a New York couple visiting the court expressed their interest in purchasing one of the paintings. “Since then things are just getting started,” Levson says. Pigcasso’s talent spread. Tourists from all over the world wanted to see the image of the pig and buy his paintings. In the meantime, the art of Pigcasso has become world famous – and very expensive. Canvas is available from 1,500 euros, and art print is available from about 200 euros.

In December, the animal artist officially entered the Guinness Book of Records: a German art collector bought Pigcasso’s picture “Wild and Free” for 22,000 pounds (equivalent to approximately 26,000 euros) – the most expensive work of a non-human artist . In doing so, Pigcasso broke the current record held by a Congo chimpanzee, whose photo was once worth £14,000.

Pig art is famous all over the world

Leifson says Germans are generally Pigcasso’s best customers, followed by the Swiss, British and Americans. Pigcasso paintings now hang in homes all over the world, from Colombia to Kazakhstan. Pig has also released a limited edition wristwatch in collaboration with Swiss watch company Swatch.

A book on Pigcasso’s life is due to be published next year. British behavioral scientist Jane Goodall wrote an introduction to this. From July, Pigcasso’s work will be exhibited for three months in Hannoverch Münden, Lower Saxony – her first exhibition in Germany.

Other drawing animals

Pigcasso isn’t the only animal with artistic talent. In the US, for example, DogVinci, a Labrador-Golden Retriever mix, paints pictures for a good reason. In Thailand, elephant drawings live at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center near the northern city of Chiang Mai. A black rhino named Msindhi is drawn on paper at the Denver Zoo in Colorado. At the Hakijima Sea Paradise Aquarium in Yokohama, Japan, a creative, painterly beluga whale has become world famous.

Alison Kaufman, an animal researcher at the University of Connecticut in the US, stresses that animals are certainly innovative. For example, they may invent a new way to search for food, or new ways to impress a partner. In human care, an animal can be taught to draw just like any other behavior, says the researcher. As long as this training is voluntary, this training is beneficial for the animals because it is cognitively stimulating.

However, no one can say definitively whether the animal was self-aware or whether the painting was art on purpose, Kaufman points out. “Animals don’t need much emotional expression – at least as far as we know, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy animal art,” says the researcher. She herself has a wall full of animal pictures in the house, and she loves it more than anything.

Proceeds go back to the campus

For Leifson, Pigcasso’s talent is a means to an end. Proceeds from the artworks are going back to the shelter to fund the dignified retirement of dozens of farm animals that were originally supposed to end up on dinner plates, Levson says. “I’m much more famous than Pigcasso,” says Levson. “I want to show that pigs have value, and that they deserve to be treated better.”

She hopes that fans of Pigcasso art will also advocate for more humane animal husbandry or at least think twice before reaching for pork and joints at the supermarket. Because who knows, maybe the pig buzzing in the pan will be the next Van Gogh.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220613-99-645003 / 6

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