Every once in a while, an animal gains fame for their unique talent or ability. This is precisely the case for a South African pig which, believe it or not, has a knack for painting.
Joanne Lefson, the manager of a South African animal sanctuary called Farm Sanctuary SA, is currently the custodian of the painting pig which has been nicknamed “Pigcasso." She was also the one who originally noticed the pig had an interest in painting. However, like most great stories, Pigcasso also has a dark backstory. Her talent would have never been found had she not been rescued from a slaughterhouse.
Paintings worth thousands of dollars
Pigcasso’s talent was discovered when Lefson put her in a barn and threw in items such as balls that the pig could play with. There also happened to be some paint brushes on the barn floor because it was newly built. The pig destroyed everything except the brushes.
“She ate or destroyed everything except these paintbrushes ... she loved them so much," stated Lefson.
Lefson realized that the pig had a talent when it picked up the paintbrushes with its mouth, dipped them in paint and started painting. After noticing the talent, Lefson started providing a canvas for Pigcasso to work on. Pigcasso’s work is categorized as abstract art and has been making waves in the market, selling for as much as $4,000. The proceeds from Pigcasso’s paintings are used to fund animal welfare projects.
Swiss watch company gets in on the action
Pigcasso’s paintings have been so successful that they have attracted the attention of a Swiss watchmaker called Swatch. The company recently announced a collaboration with the pig through which the watchmaker will make limited edition watches called 'Flying Pig by Ms. Pigcasso.’ The watches will have pink, green and blue watch strokes and each unit will cost US$120.
Swatch officials revealed that these watches are currently the bestselling products from their list of watches that involve partnerships with artists. Sibu Mabena, a South African marketing expert, described the collaboration as a significant marketing opportunity and also proceeded to praise the Pig’s impressive artwork. Pigcasso’s art has also been on tour over the past year in the Netherlands, France, Germany, South Africa, and the UK through an exhibition known as ‘Oink.’ Lefson described Pigcasso as an abstract expressionist because she paints based on her mood. She also noted that the pig has a signature way of finishing each painting project by dipping her nose in beetroot ink and then putting it on the canvas.