Thursday, June 10, 2010

The half-dozen laws of animal art

A number of readers have submitted ‘the largest horse painting in the world’ to us as an example of animal art. We have also heard from the horse’s mentor New Zealand painter Billy Wilson. If you go to the TradeMe page that started this whole thing off you will see someone who we assume is Billy riding the big-picture horse.

 The time has obviously come to jot down the basic rules on what constitutes animal art for publication on OTN
  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.
Image: The horse Gypsy Rose’s not animal art