Disclaimer: reading this post might change your mind about eating bacon. We cannot be held responsible for pulling on your heart strings and turning you into a vegetarian.
2019 is the Year of The Pig, according to the Chinese zodiac calendar. It’s the perfect timing for a hog artist to flourish! Pigcasso is one of a kind, the only painting pig in the world. And she lives close to Cape Town, in Franschhoek.
Till the 24th of March 2019 you can view her works at the V & A Waterfront, Noble Square.
Don’t Judge A Book by Its Cover
Pigcasso was destined to fulfil the purpose that the world had placed on her kind. She was rescued from a slaughterhouse in May 2016 by Joanne Lefson. And it seems that the universe had greater plans in store for her than mere tasty bacon.
She became the most famous inhabitant of Farm Sanctuary SA. The other founding member, is Baloo, a cow with good musical taste – Elvis is his favourite. The sanctuary was opened in 2016 on World Farm Animal Day (2 October). It lies in the Franschhoek Valley, in the Western Cape.
Joanne is passionate about farm animals. This noble project aims to offer visitors a chance of creating a unique connection with the animals. Farm Sanctuary SA wants to change the way society treats farm animals.
Pigcasso: An Unlikely Ambassador
It’s one thing to hear a person tell you about the unsavoury conditions of industrialised animal farming. You can also fall into the Google abyss, discovering more and more facts about it. But meeting one of the afflicted animals, is a whole different story.
In walks Pigcasso (well, in she waddles) She’s on a mission to paint a picture as an ambassador for the rescued farm animals and all the other unrescued ones. Her paintings are true originals, signed with her nose-tip. There are limited prints available of each masterpiece and they include a certificate of authenticity. You can also request a private commission from the four-footed artist. Each print sold helps to fund the Farm Sanctuary SA mission.
Artistic Talent Hidden in an Ordinary Pig
After rescuing Pigcasso and giving her a new home, Joanne discovered that this was no ordinary little piggy. Pigcasso was interested in the paint brushes she found lying about in the barn she now called home. Instead of just finding this amusing and not thinking much about it, Joanne decided to offer the curious piggy some guidance. And so Pigcasso’s artistic career was born.
In 2018 Pigcasso created a stir internationally by becoming the first non-human artist to have her own art exhibition. It was also hosted in the Waterfront, with the tongue in cheek name of “OINK”. Her masterpieces ranged from R6 700 to R53 500.
Up to now Pigcasso has sold nearly R2million worth of artworks, snatched up by internationally acclaimed art collectors. And to think, she would have been sold off for just a few kilograms of bacon…
From Strength to Strength
What makes Pigcasso’s unique abstract expressionist artworks so special, is to realise that they are not tweaked by Joanne, she simply provides the talented piggy with the canvas and the tools to express herself. Each artwork receives the inky snout seal of approval when Pigcasso decides her artwork is complete.
SWATCH commissioned Pigcasso to create a limited edition of special watches. Unfortunately, they are already all sold out. The watches sold for roughly R1 700 ($125). There were only 2019 watches available, to celebrate the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Pig. Each watch included a print of one of Pigcasso’s original artworks, with a certificate of authenticity. Click here to view the watch.
The 750 kilo unlikely artist became the first African, and the first non-human artist, to design a watch for SWATCH International. Needless to say, Joanne is very proud of her protégée. She uses this as a chance to again make people aware of how intelligent pigs are. They are not just good breakfast companions.
Do You Want to Visit Pigcasso the Hog Hero
We warn you again, you might turn into a vegetarian after reading this post, and even more so if you visit the Farm Sanctuary SA in Franschhoek. The farm’s picturesque setting is inspiring and relaxing, a perfect spot for the rescued farm animals to live a peaceful life, awaiting your visit.
Pigcasso has a permanent OINK Gallery space on the farm. And if you’re lucky, you can interact with the artist herself. But visits are by appointment only, entrance is free of charge. You can also book a stay in the ‘Pigcasso’s Quarters’ loft bedroom suite, at R1 800 per night. All the proceeds go towards the Farm Sanctuary SA mission to spread more awareness of the plight of farm animals.
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