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Still life
Painting of a flower pot by elephant Boon MeeUCL
Abstract
Painting by elephant Nong Bank at the Art by animals exhibition in LondonUCL
Inspired
Untitled work by orangutan JosephUCL
Colourful
Piece by gorilla SamanthaUCL
Expressive
Untitled work by Sumatran orangutan BakaUCL
Intense
Finger painting by chimpanzee BakhariUCL

Can animals produce art? That is the question posed by an exhibition held at a zoology museum in London.

Art by Animals, which is being held at the Grant Museum of Zoology, University College London, features paintings by elephants, orangutans, chimpanzees and a gorilla.

One piece, a picture of a flower pot, was painted by a Thai elephant named Boon Mee. The elephant was trained to respond to small touches on its ear, which determined how it painted.

"The level of training and control is amazing when you see the picture, which could have been done by a human," said museum manager Jack Ashby.

"The ape art is something that is even more impressive in many ways," he said. "These animals have a lot less direction and are expressing themselves. They even know when they are finished, which is the most impressive thing in my opinion."

Co-curatorsMike Tuck, a graduate of the UCL Slade School of Fine Art, and William Tuck, who is an artist, claimed the show was an attempt to address the question of whether work produced by animals is really art.

"It's certainly fascinating and it's an interesting debate for us to engage in," Ashby added.

The exhibition will run until 8 March.

This article was updated November 30, -0001 00:00 AM
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