Thursday, November 24, 2016

A is for animal…and art

When we first entered the world of animals making art it was via Ronnie van Hout. He not only had a healthy respect for animal artists but went so far as to put himself in their place. So for the last ten or so years , OTN has relentlessly reported on new trends in this amazing and distinctive world. No pun was too terrible and no animal was excluded. We covered flies, maggots, chimps, horses and cats. If it made art and it was an animal, it was in.

Our readers responded by sending in ideas for new animal art stories but because many of them did seem to be rather confused about the very idea of animal creativity, six years ago we set some rules around what we would cover. 

1.    Sock puppets cannot be animal artists or, in the case of elephants, part of an animal artist. Animal artists cannot be stuffed or mechanical.

2.    Animal artists cannot be ridden or physically controlled by a human being. The result of riding an inked-up horse over a canvas is about as animal art as a bicycle tire print. The same goes for something like a couple of guys holding up a seal with paint on its nose and using it like a pencil.

3.    Human beings holding up canvases for animal artists to work on is marginal and if the canvas is moved by the human it is not animal art it is human assisted animal art, a category we try not to cover.

4.    Human beings wearing animal costumes, no matter how convincing, are not animal artists.

5.    The jury is still out on zoo animals as artists.

6.    Children, no matter how talented, are not animal artists while ironically, flies are.

Looking at recent submissions it has to be said no one even glanced through those rules. If you are a regular reader you will know that we have threatened (and then feebly reneged when another great animal art story came our way) on never doing another post about animals making art. No more Woma the painting snake and Zeppy the creative cockatoo. Sad, but this time, true.

The best of OTN animals making art 

Paw relations 
Chimp can chimp do 
Horsing around 
Monkey photography 
Bacon…the pig 
Brent the painting chimp 
Chooks paint 
Chimp champ 
Camera cat 
Squirrel goes nuts on art 
Pony painting 
Maggots make art (seriously)