- Arts and Design
Art By Animals Elephants Gorillas And Many Other Species Take Up The Brush
How do you define Art? Do you prefer the traditional artists such as Da Vinci or Rembrandt? Or do you prefer abstract paintings? Recently opened in London England is an exhibition of Art by Animals such as Elephants, Gorillas and chimps. The Grant Museum of Zoology which is based at the University College, have found numerous paintings from various zoos around the world, and have brought them all together to show that its not just people who have an artistic talent.
Recent studies have shown that animals are actually much more intelligent than previously thought. We have always known that Elephants have a great capacity for memorising places and people. And throughout history dolphins have been the heroes of the sea, often coming to peoples rescue. And of course our greatest friend the dog, has shown amazing intelligence and loyalty in the most dire of circumstances. But painting?
Boon Mee Elephant Extraordinaire!
Boon Mee is an Elephant from Thailand. He was first used for logging in the local area, and was trained to paint by keepers. He paints by responding to small touches to his ears. It seems that he took to it like, well a duck to water, or in this case an Elephant to canvas!
However, some of his paintings are remarkably well done. So is he the artist, and how much is done by his helper? For example, by moving the ears, are they leading him across the canvas, or has he learned to do it by himself with just a little help?
Elephants Can Paint!
Monkeys go Ape over Paint!
Evidently even in the animal kingdom there is a difference between techniques. Elephants paint pictures that can be recognised straight away, but monkeys seem to go for the abstract approach. Its been said that there isn’t a lot of difference between monkey’s painting abstract, and humans doing exactly the same thing! Doesn’t say much about the human artist. Unless of course you like that type of artwork.
There are many artists out there today that make their living from splashing paint onto a canvas, wall or even pavement. Personally I prefer the good old fashioned paintings, but there is room for a splash of color on your wall. The rather bizarre fact is that monkeys use the same techniques as humans. Saying that, I would have thought monkeys, being our nearest primate relative would have been able to wack out a couple of Picassos or maybe a Rembrandt! But there you are.
The one thing that surprised me is that there are records of monkeys painting ever since the 17th century! It wasn’t until the 1950s though that we started to take the whole thing a lot more seriously. Back in the day there was a TV program aptly named Zoo Time, that showed primates getting all artistic and would you believe, there was one called Congo who even went on to have his own art exhibition!
Bailey The Capuchin Monkey Notice He's A Southpaw! (sorry!)
Doggy Da Vinci
Not all animal artists are the ones you would expect, so here’s a few I have discovered that will make you smile.
How many dogs do you know that will get handy with a paint brush? Maybe you can get your dog to do a bit of painting. If he isn’t that inclined to put brush to canvas, then maybe he can get on with painting the bedroom wall! Here’s another thought. Does he have a kennel? There you go!
Cholla The Wonder Horse
Cholla the painting horse is a real celebrity. A cross between a Mustang and a Quarter mare. His art is well known, selling in 28 States, 3 Continents, and loads of Countries. Evidently he has caught the eye of scientists who think he’s a marvel. Well I tend to agree with that!
Born in Nevada in 1985, he started to paint in 2004. Evidently he watched his owner, Renee paint the fence and would follow her, watching her every move! Out of curiosity, Renee tacked some paper to the fence and handed or should I say mouthed him a brush! And his career was born. In 2005, The Art Newspaper ranked him as the 4th highest selling animal artist in the World!
Painting Sea Lion
And last but not least the Bronx Zoo sea lion artist! This ones just for fun, I think! But you never know, maybe one of these days his paintings will be hanging in the Tate Gallery.
Considering that some of the art painted today is just a mess of squiggles and lines on the canvas, or squares painted in black on a red background, surely this talented sea lion can get his artwork into a few galleries! Mind you, can you imagine having to interview him?
At least animals have got an excuse for painting circles! So you see, there’s plenty more fish in the sea, or should I say sea lions out there that give Picasso a run for his money! Here you can see him getting his teeth into it! Do sea lions have teeth?!
Grant Museum Art by Animals
Do You Believe Its A Good Idea To Teach Animals To Paint?
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