Monday, December 4, 2017

Pigcasso, The Pig Who Paints


(Link to video)

Pigcasso is a 450lb pig in Cape Town, South Africa. She was rescued from the slaughterhouse by Joanne Lefson.

Ms. Lefson introduced Pigcasso to paint and brushes, and trained her with strawberries as the reward.


Now Pigcasso seems to enjoy wielding the brush. Her tastes tend toward abstraction, with an energetic and gestural sense of mark-making. 

Lefson says Pigcasso likes to paint landscapes beside the ocean and that she signs her work at the end by dipping her nose in white paint and dabbing the finished canvas.
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Metro UK: Meet Pigcasso
Previously on GJ:
Why Do Chimps Paint?
Chimp and Elephant Art
Animals are Not Fauvists

11 comments:

A Colonel of Truth said...

Folks are going hog wild for Pigasso’s work. Swine not?! Art is art is art. Thus, bringing in the bacon for Ms Lefson.

James Gurney said...

Yes, the Francis bacon.

Susan Krzywicki said...

I'd like to see more of Pigcasso's finished pieces. And, who selected the colors - were they swapped out by the human? I can't tell from the video.

This is intriguing.

James Gurney said...

Susan, those are good questions, and it is fascinating to try to find out what level of satisfaction the pig may be getting from it. We're not seeing the trainer conditioning the pig with treats and snacks, and we're not seeing the color changes. I presume that pigs would be red-green color blind, but they'd see light and dark of course and also blue vs. orange. The elephant-painting videos raise similar questions. Some trainers, while admitting it's a trained behavior, say that they really do enjoy making marks on paper. The links at the end of the post lead to other stories of animals who paint.

David Webb said...

I find that my own painting improves considerably when I'm given treats.

Bruce A B said...

Looks like Damien Hurst and company are being given a run for their money by Pigcasso!

Rich said...

Just came across an article on heart transplantation:
This kind of technique has far advanced since Barnard's first successful attempt: The difficulty lies in availability - there are too many patients waiting for a transplant versus insufficient supply.
Am I veering completely off topic?

Not quite, I would say: There's intense research going on to get over that shortage: A pig's heart would nearly match the human anatomy, they found out, very close - it might do the "pumping-job". Don't know; but a first transplant of this sort seems to be imminent.

So why shouldn't Pigcasso paint ?

JR said...

In the late 80s one could easily come across a news story about one zoo elephant or another said to enjoy painting. Here is a 1998 article about elephants as artists:
http://www.artistsezine.com/WhyElephant.htm

Those pictures on the link strike me as inferior (immature), compared to elephant-made artwork I've seen in a magazine article years ago. If I come across it again, I might scan it for you.

Rich said...

Hey James:
Can you verify that?
An elephant's artwork being superior to a pig's?

Of course you're not an art critic, but a wholly accomplished Artist.
Maybe I should pose the question elsewhere ;o)

John Cavan said...

I have a t-shirt that was trunk-painted by an elephant at the African Lion Safari in southern Ontario. Definitely an abstract piece if there ever was one... :)

David Webb said...

Years back, I was in the middle of a promising watercolour painting, which was on our dining room table. While I was waiting for the first wash to dry, I popped into the kitchen to make a cup of tea. On my return I discovered our cat was sitting right in the middle of it. The painting was past saving.

Question is, was she trying to improve it or was it just a critique?