We humans may be short of cash in January, but not Pigcasso – a millionaire pig from Cape Town.
The two-year-old porker is raking in the money with her paintings, which have already earned her owners R1 million. Local and international clients are prepared to pay up to R50 000 for a single artwork.
Pigcasso’s work was displayed at an exhibition at the city’s V&A Waterfront last year and was included in car maker Nissan’s 50th anniversary celebration of its Skyline model. This year, she will be involved in designing watches and – wait for it – will work on launching her own perfume.
Her paintings have been sold around the world, including in Germany, the US, Singapore, the UK, South Korea and Brazil. Prices range from R2 000 for limited edition prints, while original paintings cost between R20 000 and R50 000. Each work is signed by the celebrated swine using the tip of her nose.
Joanne Lefson‚ who runs Farm Sanctuary SA, an organisation based in Franschhoek that rescues farm animals, saved Pigcasso from being slaughtered. The sow has returned the favour through her art, which raises money to support the farm.
Pigcasso’s first work, an abstract acrylic on canvas, was sold for R24 000 to a Welsh couple in 2017. With 2019 being the Year of the Pig in the Chinese zodiac calendar, a number of Chinese nationals have commissioned artwork, one of which was sold for R150 000.
The rescue pig is also the inspiration behind the Park Inn hotel chain’s new vegan menu.
Lefson says Pigcasso enjoys a good snack any hour of the day, and when she isn’t napping, is to be found with a paint brush in her mouth and a sketch pad.
“Pigcasso’s primary purpose is to paint a better picture for farm animals. She has had amazing partnerships, including with Nissan to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its Skyline and in designing the 2019 Swatch watch, which is set for release soon. And she has inspired the Park Inn vegan menu, which she also enjoys. The only things she doesn’t eat are paint brushes, naartjies and spinach.”
To meet Pigcasso, head to Farm Sanctuary SA and visit its Oink Gallery. Admission is free.