Painting piggy prodigy Pigcasso set to take on the world

22 January 2018 - 18:10 By Suthentira Govender
Pigcasso the piggy prodigy has become the world’s first animal to host their very own art exhibition.
Pigcasso the piggy prodigy has become the world’s first animal to host their very own art exhibition.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

Pigcasso‚ a 10-month-old rescue pig‚ has earned nearly R400‚000 for her owner Joanne Lefson‚ who runs the Franschhoek Farm Sanctuary - an organisation that rescues farm animals and draws attention to those raised on factory farms.

The painting pig’s abstracts have been sold to collectors in Germany‚ South Korea‚ Malaysia‚ New York and Australia.

Now Pigcasso has stepped up her game with a debut exhibition appropriately named OINK at the V&A Waterfront‚ which opened on Friday‚ with the porker on the pink carpet.

The exhibition will then move to London‚ Paris‚ Berlin and Amsterdam.

Guest of honour was Mahatma Gandhi’s great-granddaughter‚ Professor Uma Mesthrie - a patron of the sanctuary.

“Pigcasso released her first artworks a year ago and many people were asking when and if there would be an exhibition.

Pigcasso with her owner Joanne Lefson‚ who runs the Franschhoek Farm Sanctuary, and Professor Uma Mesthrie, a patron of the sanctuary.
Pigcasso with her owner Joanne Lefson‚ who runs the Franschhoek Farm Sanctuary, and Professor Uma Mesthrie, a patron of the sanctuary.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

“At half a ton of talent‚ it was clearly time that the heavyweight abstract expressionist of the world have her own exhibition- and no better place than to have it in Cape Town at the V&A Waterfront‚” said Lefson.

The signature collection of 30 original paintings - valued at R750‚000 - are on exhibit.

The theme - according to Lefson - is the state of the environment.

Her first work - an abstract acrylic on canvas - was sold for R24‚000 to a couple in Wales last year. “By rights she was destined to be the filling on a sandwich. But Pigcasso showed talent from the outset when she picked up a paintbrush instead of a ball‚” said Lefson.

Pigcasso is described as an “abstract expressionist”.

“She will paint in the early morning and the evenings but prefers to sleep in between.”

After a draining creative session‚ the pig naps for up to eight hours.

Mesthrie said of the art‚ that the “appreciation of art is a subjective exercise and the wonder is that each viewer will see something of their own”. “What these symbolise is important - I see an intelligent animal artist who decides on certain days to use only a colour or two and on other days seems to enjoy a riot of colours.

“This is a rational creative choice. My favourite painting is the black painting with a smudge of red on the side. It almost seems to be a hand holding a face protectively with a finger towards an eyebrow. I would not mind having that on my lounge wall‚” said Mesthrie.

X