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  1. #1
    Mid
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    Art By Animals To Amaze Critics

    Art By Animals To Amaze Critics
    1 Feb 2012



    Art By Animals, Grant Museum of Zoology, University College London


    Artworks by by orang-utans, gorillas, chimpanzees and elephants will feature in an Art by Animals exhibition which opens today at the Grant Museum of Zoology, University College London

    The exhibition will include a painting of a bunch of flowers by the elephant Boon Me, formerly a logging elephant in Thailand, alongside a miniature finger painting by a chimp.

    Since the mid-50s, zoos have used art and painting as a leisure activity for animals, while using the activities to raise funds for the zoo by selling the results. The first recorded occurrence of monkey paintings in European art dates back at least to the 17th century in European art, but it was with the rise of Abstract Expressionism during the 1950s – with its emphasis on the act of mark making itself, and what it reveals about the artist’s subconscious – that art by animals began to be peercieved as anything other than a novelty.

    The exhibition’s co-curator Mike Tuck, a graduate of the Slade Art School, said: ‘We believe the exhibition at the Grant Museum to be the first to exhibit multiple species’ paintings and to attempt to take a broad view of the phenomenon.’

    ‘Although it is fairly clear that any notion of art by animals is essentially anthropomorphic, it starts to raise very interesting questions about the nature of human art’, he added. Jack Ashby, Manager of the Grant Museum of Zoology, concurred: ‘Whether this is actually art is the big question. While individual elephants are trained to always paint the same thing, art produced by apes is a lot more creative and is almost undistinguishable from abstract art by humans that use similar techniques.’

    Talking about one tiny chimpanzee painting, Mike Tuck said: ‘It was painted using his fingers and the marks are quite clear. To me it seems to be a very joyful work which suggests that the sensation of moving the paint was a pleasurable one. It is so close to the painting of a child.’

    Animal art first captured the popular imagination with Granada TV’s Zoo Time, which began in 1956, and included chimps painting live. One chimp, ‘Congo’, even went on to have his own exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in the late 50s. And, Salvador Dali was apparently so amazed by one of Congo’s canvases that he declared: ‘The hand of the chimpanzee is quasihuman; the hand of Jackson Pollock is totally animal!’

    artlyst.com

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  2. #2
    Pedantic bastard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid View Post
    While individual elephants are trained to always paint the same thing, art produced by apes is a lot more creative and is almost undistinguishable from abstract art by humans that use similar techniques.
    Which really, to me, emphasizes that "abstract" artists have sucessfully sold a mass con job for decades.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mid View Post
    While individual elephants are trained to always paint the same thing, art produced by apes is a lot more creative and is almost undistinguishable from abstract art by humans that use similar techniques.
    Which really, to me, emphasizes that "abstract" artists have sucessfully sold a mass con job for decades.

    Out of greens, sorry. It is really the critics who should question their positions. But they are probably incapable of a critical position on their own attitude.

  4. #4
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    got pieces by, jizzybloke?

  5. #5
    Molecular Mixup
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    I find it hard to believe an animal painted the OP flowers unaided, an elephant ? are they saying,
    ok they can knock out good abstract paintings but that's certainly not one of those

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue
    I find it hard to believe an animal painted the OP flowers unaided, an elephant ?
    My first thought too, but see the quote below, just maybe it is possible. If he ist trained for it and does a few hundred, maybe this will come out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    While individual elephants are trained to always paint the same thing,

  7. #7
    better looking than Ned
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue View Post
    I find it hard to believe an animal painted the OP flowers unaided, an elephant ? are they saying,
    ok they can knock out good abstract paintings but that's certainly not one of those
    I have a tree painting at home done by a elephant in chang mai, watched it paint it. Pretty dam good i thought.

  8. #8
    Molecular Mixup
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    ^ sounds interesting
    lets have a look

  9. #9
    better looking than Ned
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    At work but if you search the net you will see plenty.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    The exhibition will include a painting of a bunch of flowers by the elephant Boon Me,
    He posts here sometimes...

  11. #11
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    Seen the elephants doing this in Chiang Mai. Amazing.


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