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  • Writer's pictureCarol Ruth Weber

Photos By Chimp sell for over $77,000 Prove Animals are Artists [Video]

Updated: Jun 25, 2018

Animals as artists prove how contemporary #art is unique in its ability to stir up the conversation. Sotheby's of London sold a group of #contemporary photos of Moscow's Red Square actually taken by a chimpanzee to the highest bidder for 50,000 pounds, the equivalent of over $77,000.

Mikki the Chimp Was Taught How to Take Photos

Photos By Chimp sell for over $77,000 Prove Animals are Artists
Photo by Mikki the Chimp via Komar and Melamid, Our Moscow Through Eyes of Mikki

Many question what is art - or how can a blank canvas be called art. "Our Moscow through the Eyes of Mikki" was created by Vitaliy Komar and Alexander Melamid in the 1990s when they took their pet project, "Collaboration with Animals", to Moscow's Red Square teaching Mikki the chimp how to take photographs.

The blurry photos show how #Moscow is viewed through the lens by a chimp. As per an Associated Press report, at the time of the photo shoot Mikki was a member in the Moscow #Circus and passed away in 2007. According to the report by AP the buyer is Kira Flanzaich, a #Russian art collector.

The works also include photos taken by Guzelian of the #artists teaching Mikki how to take his photographs. The #photos were part of #Sothebys auction titled Changing Focus - A Collection of Russian and Eastern European Contemporary Photography.

Animals as Artists Have Value for Creating Beauty

Vitaliy Komar and Alexander Melamid's art is created out of their beliefs of Soviet Nonconformist Art. In the early 1970s Komar and Melamid founded the SotsArt movement known as Soviet Pop Art.

As true nonconformists Komar and Melamid queried why only #humans should be seen to have artistic abilities that are valuable. In their quest to answer their question they began their project "Collaboration with Animals" in 1978 drawing with Tranda, a dog.

Photos By Chimp sell for over $77,000 Prove Animals are Artists

They went on to work with #elephants turning these animals into artists becoming founders in 1998 of the Lampang Elephant Art Academy at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Thailand in an effort to raise money for elephant sanctuaries for endangered Asian Elephants.

Komar and Melamid's original effort has now grown into The Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project in which elephants are taught to #paint keeping them mentally stimulated and in turn creating works of art that are sold to raise money needed to protect the elephant populations that are in the wild as well as in captivity.

Art can be seen as just about anything that one feels is beautiful and wants to own to adorn their abode. Komar and Melamid have shown how #animals present a purity in art with their unique abilities in learning how to be artists.

The works of Mikki and the elephants do what art is supposed to do, open up conversation. They present a wonderful look into everything that animals are capable of doing and the contributions that animals make to #society.

Strike a pose for the camera and never be afraid to dance!

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