Avantgarde artist Pierre Brassau in his Studio/Cage.
A New Artist On The Scene
“Only an Ape could have done this”
If you’ve ever looked at a piece of art and thought, “a Monkey could have made this,” You might actually be onto something.
By its very nature, avant-garde art is experimental and forces people to rethink their ideas about culture and politics. However, sometimes really abstract pieces can leave you scratching your head and as they say art, like magnificence, is in the vision of the beholder. A few could even believe that a chimpanzee’s paintings are of the calibre of, say, French artist Pierre Brassau. Never discovered him? That’s because he’s not necessarily true!
One of the greatest acts of trolling in the history of art happened in 1964, when journalist Ake Axelsson and a few of his colleagues fooled local critics into praising paintings done by a chimpanzee. The men wanted to know if the critics were expert enough to distinguish between real and fake art, so they provided Peter the chimp with art equipment, collected his best works, and exhibited them in an art gallery under the name of fictitious French artist Pierre Brassau. Only one of the critics found the paintings lacking, while the rest praised them effusively. One critic named Rolf Anderberg even described the artist as someone who “paints with powerful strokes [and] performs with the delicacy of a ballet dancer.” He later tried to save face after the journalists exposed the hoax, saying that he still considered the chimp’s artwork to be the best in the exhibit.
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