Birds, Bees and Chimps. Contemporary Art Skills from Animals

Art is usually considered a human skill, but animals like chimpanzees, birds, and bees produce amazing pieces of art.

Can animals ever be artists?

The perception of animals as art-makers has come a long way since the late 50’s when Desmond Morris put Congo the painter chimp on British TV. In 2005, three paintings by Congo, curated by the anthropologist and painter Desmond Morris, was sold for nearly $20,000.Chimpanzee

Do they enjoy the creative process?

Since Congo produced his first drawing, zoos have been giving paintbrushes to animals as a common practice. The hope is that these endeavor at creative expression help keep animals happy and relaxed.

The Bowerbird can build beautiful structures, like sculptures to impress the females. They are tall towers made of sticks resting upon a round mat of dead black moss, decorated with snail shells, acorns, and stones.




Decorating decisions are not automatic but involved trials and “changes of mind,” wrote UCLA physiologist Jared Diamond.

beesMany creatures can make something artistic, but they are not considered artists. Look at the fantastic sculptures of honeycombs made by bees. Is this Contemporary Art?

What about you? How can you express your artistic voice in your life? Let me know in the comments!



Hello, I’m Darruda, you’re welcome! Some things you need to know about me: I’m a graphic designer and illustrator based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I focus on the conceptual value of the images. I use minimal elements to create a logo. I tell stories with my illustrations. I’m available for new commissions and licensing existing images. Don’t miss out on my Shop and my Blog.

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