Thursday, April 10, 2008

Elephant Painting

Snopes verifies this is a true video, and that elephants can be "taught" to paint. This video is validated in the sense that it represents the real phenomenon of elephants who
have learned to paint — with the caveats that "painting" in this sense means the animals outline and color specific drawings they've been taught to replicate (rather than abstractly making free-form portraits of whatever tickles their pachydermic fancies at the moment), they work under the direction of trainers, they don't all exhibit the same level of proficiency, and the quality of their output can be highly variable.
Elephantart has this to say:
The Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project (AEACP) promotes and distributes the work of elephant artists to raise funds for elephant conservation. By exhibiting and marketing the paintings internationally, the AEACP aims to increase public awareness of the plight of Asian elephants whose numbers are dwindling at an alarming rate. In recent years, the number of domesticated elephants in Thailand alone has rapidly diminished from 11,000 to only 3,000. Deforestation of the Thai countryside has led to a ban on the logging of teak, an industry that once employed thousands of elephants. Although much needed, the logging ban left these elephants and their life-long owners (mahouts) without a livelihood.

For $500, you could buy this picture and many more painted by elephants:

My paintings sell for less. If you want to gander at my artistic attempts, they are displayed here at Nancy's art-google.

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