Are the walls of your home feeling a little bare? Are they in need of some captivating art to liven them up? Perhaps you’re after a classic Van Gogh, or an Andy Warhol, or maybe a Monet, but have you even considered Pigcasso? That’s not a misspelling of one of the 20th century’s most influential Spanish artists, we’re talking about one of the 21st century’s most abstract and innovative painters, who happens to be a pig.
Pigcasso, a rescued swine pig, lives at Farm Sanctuary in the Franschhoek Wine Valley, around an hours drive from Cape Town in South Africa. The sanctuary’s main aim is to give farm animals a peaceful and restful life and to encourage visitors to show compassion for the animals that are normally raised to end up on their plate.
With Pigcasso — a “fat, famous, and fabulous” artiste and “one of the most popular Abstract Expressionists of our time” — the organization hopes to “inspire consumers to see farm animals in a whole new light,” according to its website.
Not only are the animal’s paintings beautiful — her favourite subject is the scenic landscape of The Cape — but according to the sanctuary they are “awakening a connection and creating a more sustainable world for all kind.”
If you’re in the market for a swine original, this piggy’s genius creations do not come cheap; her paintings sell for around £3,000 each. All the money raised from the work is put to good use, however, and donated back to animal welfare projects.
But how did it all start? According to Joanna Lefson, who runs the sanctuary, they were initially concerned the rescue pig might get bored, so they allowed her to choose her own activity to keep her occupied.
“Pigs are very smart animals and so when I brought Pigcasso here to the barn I thought how do I keep her entertained?” Lefson explained to the Independent.
“We threw in some footballs, rugby balls and of course there were some paintbrushes lying around because the barn was newly built,” she continued. “She basically ate or destroyed everything except these paintbrushes. She loved them so much.”
And she’s never looked back; Pigcasso is now so established in the art and design world that one of her paintings was even turned into a watch face for Swatch, a Swiss watchmaker.
“Pigcasso is definitely an abstract expressionist, you can’t define what she’s painting but I can tell you that her style slightly changes depending on her mood like any great artist,” Lefson added.