Pigcasso

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Pigcasso
SexFemale
BornApril 2016 (2016-04)
Western Cape, South Africa
OccupationPainter
Years active2016-present
OwnerJoanne Lefson
ResidenceFarm Sanctuary SA in Franschhoek, South Africa
Weight700-kg (1,500 lb)
Named afterPicasso

Pigcasso (born April 2016) is a 700-kilogram (1,500 lb) painting pig from South Africa whose paintings have sold for millions of rands all over the world.[1] Pigcasso is best known for being the first non-human artist to host her own art exhibition[2] and for collaborating with the watch maker Swatch to design its 2019 limited-edition Flying Pig watch.[3][4] More broadly, she is known for inspiring conversations around veganism, vegetarianism, and animal rights.

Early life[edit]

Pigcasso was born in April 2016 on an industrialised pig farm in the Winelands region of the Western Cape, South Africa. She was rescued in May 2016 by Joanne Lefson and taken to Farm Sanctuary SA in Franschhoek, the nonprofit organization that Lefson also founded that year. When Lefson noticed that the pig ate and destroyed everything in her stall besides some paint brushes, she employed positive reinforcement techniques to teach the pig to start using the brushes to apply paint to paper mounted on an easel placed before her. By dipping the brush in different colors, the pig began to create colorful abstract paintings, which Lefson then sold to raise funds for the farm sanctuary.

Each of Pigcasso’s works is signed by dipping her nose-tip into beetroot ink and touching it onto the canvas.

Art career[edit]

Pigcasso and Lefson are the first non-human/human collaboration to have held an art exhibition together, which took place at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town in 2018.[5][6] Pigcasso’s artworks are considered to be abstract expressionist as opposed to figurative, and have sold for millions of rands[7] to collectors around the world. Three of her most famous pieces are ‘Peacock’, ‘Snowman’, and ‘Mouse’, each of which sold for $5,000 in 2021. A painting of Prince Harry that was sold to a Spanish buyer for £2,350 in 2021 also received global notoriety, based on its royal subject matter.[8][9]

On 13 December 2021, Pigcasso sold an artwork for £20,000,[10][11] [12] a record price for an artwork created by an animal.[13] [14] The 1.6 m × 2.6 m (5.2 ft × 8.5 ft) canvas, titled Wild and Free, was purchased by German art collector Peter Esser, eclipsing the £14,000 previously paid for an animal artwork (a painting by Congo the chimpanzee bought by the American collector Howard Hong).[15] [16]

The partnership between Pigcasso and Lefson has been noted for igniting debate around the definition of art and animal creativity, while also drawing attention to the living conditions of farmed animals around the world.[17][18][19] Lefson has stated that her aim is to educate the public about the devastating effects of animal agriculture on the welfare of animals and the environment in order to inspire a kinder, more sustainable world.[20]

Collaborations[edit]

Pigcasso became the first non-human artist to endorse a commercial product when she was commissioned by watch maker Swatch to design their 2019 watch called ‘Flying Pig’.[21][22][23][24] She was also featured in the 60th anniversary advertisement of the Nissan Skyline (2017),[25][26] and in 2020, she launched her own Pigcasso wine range from the grapes that grow at the farm sanctuary where she lives.[27][28]

Media appearances[edit]

Over the course of her life, Pigcasso has been featured on various global media channels. For instance, her artistic exploits have been covered on Saturday Night Live,[29]  ABC,[30] NBC,[31] CBS,[32] CNN,[33] National Geographic,[34] Sky news,[35] and the BBC.[36]

She has also appeared live on the Jeremy Vine show (2020) and in leading publications such as include The Times newspaper[37] and Der Spiegel.

Joanne Lefson[edit]

Lefson was a former pro-golfer who dated John Denver[38] between 1996-1997.[39] [40]

See also[edit]

  • Oscar (2004), dog adopted from a shelter by Joanne Lefson

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peter, Zamayirha. "Pigcasso a millionaire". Citypress. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  2. ^ "WATCH: Pigcasso launches art exhibition - and it's anything but hogwash!". www.iol.co.za. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  3. ^ "Swatch Flying Pig by Ms. Pigcasso Limited Edition 2019 Watch New with Box 54362804295". eBay. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  4. ^ "A Pig Designed This Swatch Watch". Bloomberg.com. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  5. ^ "WATCH: Pigcasso launches art exhibition - and it's anything but hogwash!". www.iol.co.za. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  6. ^ "Meet Pigcasso, The World's First Pig Artist". DOGOnews. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  7. ^ Peter, Zamayirha. "Pigcasso a millionaire". Citypress. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  8. ^ "Princely sum: Pig's portrait of Harry fetches R50,000". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  9. ^ "This Prince Harry portrait sold for £2,000 – and you won't believe the artist". Expats.one. 2021-03-19. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  10. ^ Artmajeur. "Pigcasso, the painter pig has just sold a work for 20,000 pounds sterling! | Artmajeur Magazine". www.artmajeur.com. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  11. ^ "Pigcasso brings home the bacon after selling an abstract artwork for a record R400 000". www.iol.co.za. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  12. ^ "Move over, Banksy: SA's Pigcasso sells painting for more than R400k". The South African. 2021-12-20. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  13. ^ "Move over, Banksy: SA's Pigcasso sells painting for more than R400k". The South African. 2021-12-20. Retrieved 2021-12-30.
  14. ^ "South Africa: 'Pigcasso' sells painting for £20,000". Sky News. Retrieved 2021-12-30.
  15. ^ "Chimp's art fetches £14,000". the Guardian. 2005-06-21. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  16. ^ "No Chump Change for Chimp Art". NPR.org. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  17. ^ "Pigcasso brings some truths home". www.iol.co.za. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  18. ^ "Pigcasso: timeless work by a pampered porker". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  19. ^ "Farm Sanctuary SA: A Safe Haven For Rescued Farm Animals". The Inside Guide | Cape Town. 2018-03-02. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  20. ^ "Going whole hog for animal activism: Joanne Lefson". MatieMedia. 2021-06-21. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  21. ^ "Swatch X Pigcasso - Swatch® South Africa - Swatch® South Africa". 2020.swatch.com. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  22. ^ "A Pig Designed This Swatch Watch". Bloomberg.com. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  23. ^ "WATCH: SA's Pigcasso becomes first African, and animal, to design a Swatch watch". www.iol.co.za. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  24. ^ "Meet Pigcasso — the pig who was saved from a slaughterhouse and became a world famous painter". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  25. ^ Publishing, Last Gear. "Pigcasso paints race track, Nissan Skyline driver can't handle it". Drive Mag. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  26. ^ "Nissan enlists Pigcasso the painting pig for Skyline campaign". The Drum. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  27. ^ "Pigcasso has designed her own wine". www.capetownetc.com. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  28. ^ "Three grunts for Pigcasso's new plonk". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  29. ^ "SNL Jokes About Hypocrisy of Loving Animals and Eating Them". VegNews.com. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  30. ^ "Video: Did a pig or a person paint these?". ABC News. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  31. ^ "Pig Escapes Slaughterhouse Fate, Sells Original Paintings". NBC New York. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  32. ^ "Meet Pigcasso — the pig who was saved from a slaughterhouse and became a world famous painter". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  33. ^ ""Pigcasso", el cerdo artista que vende cuadros por miles de dólares | Video". CNN (in Spanish). Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  34. ^ "Watch Pigcasso, the Famous Painting Pig, at Work". Animals. 2018-02-03. Archived from the original on March 5, 2021. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  35. ^ "South Africa: 'Pigcasso' sells painting for £20,000". Sky News. Retrieved 2021-12-30.
  36. ^ "Happy News: Stories to make you smile! - CBBC Newsround". Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  37. ^ Johannesburg, Aislinn Laing. "Pigcasso ... or a new Francis Bacon?". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
  38. ^ Lefson, Joanne (8 December 2010). "Ahound the World: My Travels with Oscar". Penguin Random House South Africa. ISBN 978-1-77022-108-6. Retrieved 2024-01-29.
  39. ^ Lefson, Joanne (3 August 2023). "Pigcasso: The painting pig that saved a sanctuary". Octopus. ISBN 978-1-78840-419-8. Retrieved 2024-01-30.
  40. ^ "Autopsy: The Last Hours of John Denver". imdb.com. Retrieved 2024-01-29.

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