Step aside Pablo. Meet Pigcasso


Pigs can’t fly, but they can paint. At least, Pigcasso can. Rescued from a slaughterhouse as a piglet, Pigcasso is unleashing her artistic talent on the world, selling artworks and hosting exhibitions. Well, not really. Joanne Lefson, Pigcasso’s carer, is doing that. But one thing is certain: this pig knows how to use a brush.

Lefson saved Pigcasso in May 2016, a few months before she officially opened Farm Sanctuary SA on October 2, World Farm Animal Day. “I rescued Pigcasso from a local hog farm just before she was going to be slaughtered,” Lefson says. “When I brought her back to Farm Sanctuary SA I knew that she was a first of many that I was going to save.” Lefson knew that as an intelligent pig, Pigcasso would need some form of entertainment. So she offered the hog a ball and some paint brushes, and Pigcasso made her choice. Lefson provides Pigcasso with a selection of colours and some canvas, and the swine takes care of the rest, swinging her head joyfully as she brings her creations to life. She has an eye for it, carefully selecting colour combinations – and knowing when to keep it monochrome. During the process, Pigcasso munches on her favourite snacks – caramel popcorn and organic fruits – and when she’s done she signs her work with a boop of her snout.

But while Lefson was the one to rescue Pigcasso, the tables have turned as the pig is helping her run the farm. Pigcasso’s artwork has raised R350 000, with a Welsh couple purchasing a single piece for R25 000. The profits go toward Farm Sanctuary SA, enabling Lefson to continue saving as many animals in need. “Pigcasso is a wonderful painting pig who is inspiring people to think differently about farm animals through her amazing artworks,” Lefson says. “She paints better than Pablo.”