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Discussion in 'Art & Design' started by gius, Aug 21, 2009.
courtesy of styleocide for the title
& inspiration for the thread
first up... an Elephant !
Abstract art! Wow! Smart animals.
is the elephant's work considered abstract too?
i'd be curious to find some sculpture...
vnexpress.net | blogs.jsonline.com
(their) artwork is sold at the zoo's gift shop to raise funds.
This painting pachyderm is far from the only artistic animal in captivity. For years zoos and aquariums across the country have encouraged animals to paint as a way to keep the penned-up denizens mentally enriched. Typically, the paintings were discarded or set aside.
But officials have recently discovered that animal lovers willing pay hundreds - or even thousands - of dollars for the creatures' creations, prompting zoos across the country to study whether their animal artists might be an untapped source of revenue.
The Milwaukee zoo's gift shop sells about 36 of Brittany's paintings each year for $30 each.
| .... |
The menagerie of animals that can brandish a brush is seemingly endless. At zoos nationwide, painters include chimpanzees, kangaroos, ocelots, red pandas and even a rhinoceros and Komodo dragon, said Jackie Marks, spokeswoman for the Association of Zoos & Aquariums in Silver Spring, Md.
One especially profitable painter is Towan, a 40-year-old orangutan at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. For Valentine's Day, the zoo auctioned a pair of his paintings on eBay for a total of more than $1,300.
As lucrative as Towan's works have been, keepers can only get him to produce a limited number of paintings.
"If you try to get him to do it two days in a row, he won't pick it up on the second day," said zoo spokeswoman Gigi Allianic. "You can't make it routine for the animal or they lose interest."
That's the challenge for most zookeepers, who say they won't sacrifice an animal's enrichment for the sake of making a quick buck. Also, some animal artists can be as temperamental as their human counterparts.
Sea lions ply the painting trade with their mouths - they hold a stick in their teeth from which a paintbrush juts out in a T shape. But when they don't want to paint, no amount of cajoling can convince them otherwise, said Henry Kacprzyk, a curator with the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.
"If they don't want to participate, they'll just ignore you, they'll leave," he said of his zoo's three sea lions. "There's not much you can do - they swim faster than we do."
Artistic "talent" seems as diversely distributed among animals as among humans, zoo officials say. Just as some people are more artistically inclined than others, so, too, is the case for chimps, elephants and so on. Some animals are eager participants while others turn up their noses - or trunks - at the sight of a brush.
Of course, beauty - and artistic talent - are in the eyes of the beholder. People who buy animal paintings are rarely art aficionados. Instead, they're typically animal lovers who know the money is going toward a good cause.
But some animal artwork can be surprisingly valuable, none more so than three paintings produced in the 1950s by a chimpanzee named Congo. The abstracts sold in 2005 for a total of $26,352 at a London auction where competing works by Renoir and Andy Warhol languished unsold.
(© 2009 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
haha, love that thread... that's very interesting to observe their process...
this is by Brittany ^ the elephant mentioned a bit in the article
using her feet instead
picture from milkwaukeezoo.org
text from same source as above
the elephant in post#1 her name is Hong
xenophilius.wordpress.com | elephantart.com
The elephant was taught how to paint elephants, but I still find it amazing. Humans have to be taught how to paint humans, too.
Awh. Thank you so much.
Haha I can imagine an elephant swiping her canvas Zorro like.
Such amazing talented God gifted animals! So abstract, I love it.
Wow, she was taught how to paint other elephants? They're so clever!
I think humans underestimate other animals a lot. All they need to do is respect their intelligence and they're capeable of great things.
Love this thread
When I saw the title of this thread, I immediately thought of Pet Star on Animal Planet, the one where Mario Lopez hosts Love that show.
The elephant drawing an elephant is amazing!
Thanks for the interesting thread
these are by Paya
^That is just so amazing
HAHAHA YEAH! I used to love that show!!
Me& Gius were just talking about that last night! How funny.
this thread is so random i love it
hehe oh this is the cutest thread..
i wonder how exactly they teach the animals.. maybe some are more susceptible, like the especially social species. they can just copy what you do
my neighbour has a cat...
comes by every once in a while
Animal House: Works of Art Made by Animals
Beauty and the beasts
Pelmus: "Just like many artists, animals work by instinct, creating art without realizing they are creating art"
photo: Jan Hendrik van Rooyen
Exhibit offers rare glimpse into little known world of animal artists
When it comes to nature, there's little doubt that mankind is sitting comfortably atop the proverbial food chain. Humanity's dominion over the art world, on the other hand, might just be a little more precarious thanks to Animal House: Works of Art Made by Animals, a fascinating new exhibit taking place at Ottawa's SAW Gallery.The concept of animals creating art isn't nearly as esoteric as it sounds. Indeed, since the late 1950s, art made by animals has become a thriving, if not oft ignored, industry existing on the periphery of the contemporary art world. Early paintings from chimpanzees, for example, captured the public's attention due to their often striking similarity to the abstract and impressionist movements of the time, while more recent paintings from trained elephants are currently en vogue among collectors.
Animal House, however, may just be the first exhibit to present an in-depth and all-encompassing look into this rarely seen artistic world. The exhibit is the brainchild of SAW Gallery's curator Stefan St-Laurent, who was inspired by his own growing collection of animal art. "Initially we wanted to look at the exploitative work coming out of research and wildlife preserves and offer a critical viewpoint," says St-Laurent. "But the more we looked into it, the more we decided that we really wanted to offer a comprehensive experience so people can appreciate the intellectual and creative capacities of animals."
The family-friendly exhibit offers up three different kinds of animal art: works from trained animal artists, naturally occurring animal works, and collaborations between animal and human artists. Among the roster of artists on display are some of the most prolific of both the two-legged and four-legged variety. Carry on the Back, for example, is a lush, multicoloured painting created by Ramona, a trained elephant artist from the Maesa Elephant Camp in Thailand. The abstract painting looks almost like something one would expect to find on the wall of a contemporary art gallery and seems to have a surprisingly complex structure, and the deliberate brushstrokes of a skilled painter. Similarly, Tongue Tied is a beautiful and strangely fascinating abstract work painted by Kamala, an elephant from the world renowned Calgary Zoo.
Among the more naturally occurring works featured on display are a variety of bird's nests and other animal creations referred to as "unintentional animal art." The exhibit also features works from three local Ottawa artists who were commissioned to recreate naturally occurring animal structures. Among these artists is sculptor Theo Pelmus, who was given the daunting task of creating realistic African swallow nests. "The nests actually look like beautiful sculptures," says Pelmus. "So I made them from clay to try and stay as close as possible to the materials the birds actually use. This is a challenge as an artist, because when you try to imitate nature it's very difficult."
To facilitate the process, Pelmus says he spent a great deal of time researching the nesting habits of the swallows and says that the real challenge is trying to think like an animal rather than an artist. "There's a fine line that separates animals and artists," says Pelmus. "Just like many artists, animals work by instinct, creating art without realizing they are creating art."
One of the more fascinating aspects of Animal House, however, is undoubtedly the collaborations between animal and human. Of particular note are several works from celebrated '60s artist and feminist icon Carolee Schneemann, who has incorporated her three cats into a series of works. The most visually striking human and animal collaboration, however, may just be Harlequin, an almost iridescent abstract painting created by Koopa, a box turtle from Hartford, Connecticut, who "paints" by crawling across a canvas, creating unusually complex shapes and patterns. There are also several fascinating pieces from Tilda, an orangutan from the Krefeld Zoo in Germany who works closely with a local collective of artists to create collaborative abstract paintings.
St-Laurent, however, is quick to point out that while art by animals is indeed an amazing phenomenon, it also raises a number of ethical questions given that in most cases the animals are held in captivity and carefully trained by their handlers. "Trained animal art is an important parallel art market that's virtually unscrutinized," says St-Laurent. "As a community of artists at the SAW Gallery, we felt that it's our job to bring these questions to the public, and the purpose of the exhibit is really for people to reach their own conclusions about animal artists."
When it comes to the notion of animals possessing artistic talent, however, St-Laurent is quick to come to their defence. "Animals are definitely creative," he says. "But they can only express that creativity when they're in the wild or in a relationship with humans that's based solely on love and respect."
Animal House: Works of Art Made by Animals
@ SAW Gallery
(67 Nicholas St.)
Until Sept. 26