LOOK: Chimpanzee wins $10,000 prize for THIS abstract painting


Chimp art

A painting by a 37-year-old chimpanzee has won $10,000 (£6,450) for a Chimp Haven sanctuary in north-west Louisiana.

The primate, who uses his tongue to apply colour instead of a brush, received the most votes in the chimpanzee art contest organised by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Five other sanctuaries competed, using paintings created during “enrichment sessions”, but Brent’s delicate smears of blue, violet, yellow and turquoise triumphed before the judge.

Renowned primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodhall picked her favourite piece from the selection of entries, which were voted for by 27,000 online participants. Runners-up included the former performance monkey Patti, who painted with urgent swipes of primary colours; Jamie, who escaped from a lifetime of biomedical research to create an abstract image in violet and pink; and former lab monkey Cheetah, whose burst of hot reds and yellows earned him second place.

“All of the art was beautiful and unique – just like chimpanzees,” said Goodall. “It was difficult to choose. It’s so important that the public support all of these sanctuaries in their mission to provide exceptional care to chimpanzees, and other primates, who have suffered through so much.”

Cathy Willis Spraetz, Chimp Haven’s president and CEO, helped Brent, a retired laboratory animal, to create his winning painting. She held up a canvas up to the mesh of his indoor cage so he was able to daub the tempera paints with his tongue, producing an unorthadox smatter and smear of colours.

The winning sanctuaries will receive grants from the HSUS to help care for chimpanzees retired from research, entertainment and the pet trade. It is estimated that more than 1,100 chimpanzees reside in laboratories, entertainment facilities, private residences and other facilities in the US.

Read more: The Guardian

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