Pigcasso, a pig who painted pictures, died

This South African sow, saved from the slaughterhouse, painted more than 400 works with her snout, and was exhibited in South Africa but also in the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and even in China.


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The Pigcasso pig and one of his works in Franschoek (South Africa), May 30, 2022, with Joanne Lefson.  (KRISTIN PALITZA / DPA VIA AFP)

It’s a pig named Pigcasso, whose death we learned this week: “Pig” for pig and “casso” in reference to the famous painter. Pigcasso was the first pig, or rather the first artistic sow, known for her talents as a painter. And it all started in 2016 when Joanne Lefson, a South African artist who had just opened an animal shelter, saved her from the slaughterhouse to which she was destined. She then notices that in the pigsty, Pigcasso destroys absolutely everything, except the brushes… Brushes that she will teach him to use by slipping them into his snout.

Paintings priced at over 20,000 euros

And that’s how, with the help of Joanne who moved the canvas and positioned the paint cans to balance and form the composition, she began to create works of art, which she always signed by dipping the tip of her snout in beet ink. All this may not seem very serious, but Pigcasso was still the first non-human artist to have exhibited his paintings, more than 400 works, in South Africa, but also in the Netherlands, Germany, and the United Kingdom. United, and even in China.

It is even said that she became a millionaire. In any case, a millionaire in rand, the South African currency. Some of Pigcasso’s paintings have sold for more than 20,000 euros, which is more than the previous record for a work of animal art, a painting painted by a chimpanzee in 2005. Besides, speaking of chimpanzee, the famous primatologist Jane Goodall came to see Pigcasso on his farm in South Africa. An honor. At 90 years old, this tireless animal rights activist was, during her visit, in much better shape than the sow, who was already limping at just 8 years old, due to a calcified spine and polyarthritis. rheumatoid inherited from his living conditions in an industrial farm. It remains to be seen who, now that Pigcasso has joined Pablo and his pig-in-heaven character, will take up his brushes, and his credo: less meat, more art!

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