While pigs are often dismissed by many as filthy farm animals, the four-footed species often get the short end of the stick. Aside from being highly intelligent, pigs have more in common with humans than one might think. They are highly social creatures, and biologically, pigs are more similar to humans compared to most other animals. Their skin is similar to that of human skin, and porcine heart valves are sometimes used when performing heart surgery on human patients.
Now, it seems like one pig, in particular, is looking to emulate and imitate one aspect of human culture -- art, or specifically, painting.
As reported by CBS News, one artistic pig is lighting the art world on fire. Despite being just 3-years-old and weighing over 1,000 pounds, the aptly named Pigcasso has made a name for herself. Her paintings have sold for thousands of dollars, and recently, she has partnered with watchmaker Swatch on a joint project.
So, how did Pigcasso make her mark in the art world? The cultured swine was saved back in 2016 from a pig framing facility. Now, she resides at Farm Sanctuary SA, located outside of Cape Town, South Africa. Her owner and the sanctuary's founder, Joanne Lefson, explains that art came naturally for Pigcasso.Speaking to CBS News, Lefson recounted Pigcasso's first experiences with painting.
"For some reason she took a knack to the paintbrushes and it wasn't long before she was dancing the brush across the canvas and selling artworks all over the world," Lefson said.
Of course, Pigcasso doesn't use the same equipment as her human peers. She uses a specially-designed brush and non-toxic paint and supplies in order to create her abstract works of art. Instead of a traditional signature, Pigcasso has her own "pignature" -- she signs each of her paintings using the tip of her snout, using a specially-crafted ink made from acrylic ink and beetroot.
As CBS News notes, Pigcasso's work is sold in order to fund the pig sanctuary she lives at. In 2018, she "hosted" her own exhibition at The Waterfront in Cape Town. Her work is also sold online and on-site at the sanctuary. While prices vary, Pigcasso's paintings usually fetch between $500 and $4,000 apiece. In total, the painterly pig has raised just shy of $150,000.
Needless to say, Lefson is very proud of her painting companion.
"I am so proud of Pigcasso," Lefson said. "From pork chop to global Swatch designer, it's just another reason to see pigs as the smart creative divas that they are — and to eat less bacon and to go shopping instead!"