Saturday, November 23, 2002

WHAT IS ART?

They're chimps, they paint. But is it art?
MARK ABLEY The Gazette

A group show opens this morning in an upscale Toronto gallery - a show made up of paintings by seven artists who live on Montreal's South Shore. But the artists won't be at the opening.

It's not because they have HIV (though many do). It's not because they haven't signed their works (though none can write). It's not because they have an aversion to finger food (that's all they eat).

It's because the artists are chimpanzees.

"Sacrificed Lives: The Art of the Captive Chimpanzee" is, in fact, a fundraiser. To purchase one of the works on display, you'd pay between $700 and $1,200.

Proceeds will go toward an extension of the chimpanzees' house in the semi-rural surroundings of Carignan on the South Shore of Montreal. Fourteen chimpanzees are lucky enough to reside there, looked after by the trained volunteers of the Fauna Foundation....