I sort of have a litmus test on this. This works for me any way.
Paint plus brush plus canvas plus chimp equals art?
Piece of gold plus hammer plus chimp is still just a piece of gold!
My reasoning behind that is that my wife’s boss has two paintings
hanging on his wall painted by dolphins! Is it craft or is it art?
So you can give that brush to about any animal and let it smear it
around or even walk in the paint and then onto the canvas. Then is
this art? I want to see that damn dirty ape make a ring, sorry for
the Heston reference.
Here is my point in print:
June 20, 2005
Dead Chimp’s Art Sells Big Three Works By The Late Chimpanzee 'Congo’
Sell For $25,620
(AP) Monkey business proved to be a lucrative pastime Monday when
paintings by Congo the chimpanzee sold at auction for more than
The collection of three tempera paintings - all abstract - were
auctioned at Bonhams in London alongside works by impressionist
master Renoir and pop art provocateur Andy Warhol.
But while Warhol and Renoir’s work didn’t sell, bidders lavished
attention on Congo’s paintings.
An American bidder named Howard Hong, who described himself as an
"enthusiast of modern and contemporary painting," purchased the lot
of paintings for $26,352 including a buyer’s premium.
The sale price surpassed predictions that priced the paintings
between $1,000 and $1,500.
“We had no idea what these things were worth,” said Howard
Rutkowski, director of modern and contemporary art at Bonhams. “We
just put them in for our own amusement.”
Congo, born in 1954, produced about 400 drawings and paintings
between the ages of 2 and 4. He died in 1964 of tuberculosis.