Da Black Whole

Monday, June 20, 2005

Mr. Stubbs is Hot: Who Needs Vincent?

Breaking news from the Primate-Dominance File:

Chimp paintings fetch 26,000 dollars at auction



Mon Jun 20, 3:22 PM ET

LONDON (AFP) - Three paintings by a chimpanzee named Congo were sold at auction in London to an American buyer for a total of 14,400 pounds (26,250 dollars, 21,610 euros), many times the estimated price.

Congo's works went under the hammer in a sale that included works by French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French cubist Fernand Leger and US pop artist Andy Warhol.

Presale estimates had put their price at between 600 and 800 pounds.
The buyer, Howard Hong, said he was a great fan of modern and contemporary painting.

Nicknamed "the Cezanne of the ape world" Congo turned out more than 400 paintings and drawings under the encouragement of anthropologist Desmond Morris.

Morris championed the theory that chimps had artistic sensibilities and put on a show of Congo's works in the 1950s.

Picasso is said to have had a Congo painting in his studio, in a style described as belonging to "the abstract expressionist school".

"I doubt whether any work by a chimpanzee has ever been auctioned before," Howard Ruthkowski, modern and contemporary art specialist at auctioneer Bonhams, said before the sale.


  • Dear Little Dynamo,

    We so enjoy these entertaining stories. Did you know that kin of Mister Stubbs host a usenet forum? It's simply called Society.

    "In 1957, Desmond Morris curated an exhibition of chimpanzee paintings and drawings at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, including paintings by a young chimpanzee called Congo. Picasso indicated his support for Morris and the ape by biting a reporter who suggested to him that the chimp's work was not art. Picasso is reported to have purchased a painting by Congo."

    Picasso BIT a reporter ! lol

    Isn't there a story about Bernice the Pigeon who made scratch art?

    Emily the Elephant of the New Bedford Buttonwood Park Zoo paints abstract impressions. See her work:


    I hope the money made off Congo went to a worthwhile endeavor.
    We're all naked apes in the human zoo, aren't we?
    Tink L.

    "On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree."
    "Hark! The Herald angels sing, glory to the newborn King."
    Ben L.

    By Blogger Annie, At 9:34 AM  

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