Portrait Of An Artist As A Young Pig

Francis Bacon might have been charmed. 

A pig in South Africa can paint artwork that actually sells so her handlers have -obviously – named her Pigcasso. 

Brandishing a paintbrush in her snout, Pigcasso enthusiastically tosses her head to create bright, bold strokes across a canvas propped up in her sty. 

Her story is not an uncommon one as pig stories go but, in her case, there was always going to be a twist in the tale. 

The animal was rescued from an abattoir as a piglet, thus avoiding a fate worse than bacon. She was then brought to an animal sanctuary in Franschhoek, in South Africa’s Western Cape region in 2016, where her new owners noticed her love of colour and paintbrushes. 

The last line is from the original Reuters report. How on earth the owners could have discerned the pig’s leanings is unclear but who knows? Maybe the porcine painter confided in them. 

As pigs are known to be smart animals, its new owners wondered how to keep the sow from getting boared in her barn.  

“We threw in some soccer balls, rugby balls and of course there were some paintbrushes lying around because the barn was newly build,” said Joanne Lefson who ran the sanctuary. “She basically ate or destroyed everything except these paintbrushes … she loved them so much.” 

Soon the pig was dipping the brushes into pots of paint and making her mark. Her paintings can sell for almost $4,000. 

At this point dear reader, you will just have to suspend disbelief and simply remember that it was Picasso who made the remark about good taste being “the enemy of creativity.” 

Chalk one up to the artist. The proceeds of her paintings generally go to animal welfare causes so you could even call her philanthropig.

“Pigcasso is definitely an abstract expressionist, you can’t exactly define what she’s painting but I can tell you that her style slightly changes depending on her mood like any great artist,” said Lefson. 

The critics secretly thought it was hogwash but it was an endearing story and they figured they’d let it pass. 

Pigcasso herself was unimpressed: she felt the world didn’t make sense so why should she paint stuff that did? She thought about the abattoir and shuddered: there but for the grace of Lefson went sausages, she thought and felt that art was distinctly preferable.

In between her dalliances with the canvas, she exhibited a puckish sense of humour.  She especially delighted in hiding behind a bush and leaping out at unwary visitors to startle them. 

She took great delight in these hambushes.

Meanwhile, the swinish sketcher has been going from strength to strength. 

Pigcasso has even had one of her artworks turned into a watch face for Swiss watchmaker Swatch. 

Swatch announced a collaboration with the pig last month. 

 The limited edition “Flying Pig by Ms. Pigcasso” features green, blue and pink brush strokes and sells for $120. 

No one knows what it means or if it means anything at all but, hey, remember what Andy Warhol said. 

Art is anything you can get away with.