Meet Pigcasso, The World's First Pig Artist


CCSS 303 Words 3-Minute Listen
Pigcasso at work (Photo Credit:

Though pigs may never fly, a two-year-old hog in Franschhoek, South Africa is proving they sure can paint! Meet Pigcasso, the world’s first known pig artist whose masterpieces are selling for thousands of dollars to benefit Farm Sanctuary S.A., Africa’s only registered shelter for rescued farm animals.

Joanne Lefson, who saved Pigcasso from a slaughterhouse two years ago, discovered the animal’s artistic talent accidentally. The South African activist says of the numerous toys presented to keep the then four-week-old piglet entertained, the paintbrushes seemed to attract her the most. They "were the only thing she didn't eat," Lefson quips.

Pigcasso’s abstract art (Photo Credit

The rescuer decided to present the pig with canvas and paint and see what happened. To her delight, the aptly named Pigcasso began creating works of art that can best be described as “abstract expressionism.” Now weighing a hefty 450 pounds, the celebrated pig, who loves to paint the area’s scenic landscapes, has a dedicated “studio” at Farm Sanctuary S.A. where she resides. Though Pigcasso does get to snack from an “overloaded picnic basket” containing her favorite foods — like caramel popcorn and syrup peaches — when working, Lefson says, “I do not force her to paint. She paints when she wants to.”

Pigcasso’s artwork, which has thus far been sold online, is currently on display at Cape Town’s picturesque Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Dubbed “Oink,” the pop-up exhibition will run through March 5 before heading to London‚ Paris‚ Berlin, and Amsterdam. Lefson says its main aim is to highlight the effect of animal agriculture on the planet and inspire change.

Pigcasso at work (Photo Credit:

While Pigcasso is the first pig and first nonhuman to headline an exhibition, she is not the first animal to create masterpieces. Elephants, sea lions, and even penguins have shown similar artistic prowess – in exchange for some treats, of course!


Get the Workbook for this article!

Workbook contains: Article, Reading Comprehension, Critical Thinking Questions, Vocabulary in Context (+ answers), Multiple Choice Quiz (+ answers), Parts of Speech Quiz (+ answers), Vocabulary Game (+ answers)
Cite Article
  • bookwormgirl
    bookwormgirlFriday, February 19, 2021 at 2:14 pm
    he is soooooooooooooooo talented his name fits him for reals
    • dinobasketball7
      dinobasketball7Friday, February 19, 2021 at 10:05 am
      wow. I like his name.
      • wolfieland
        wolfielandFriday, February 19, 2021 at 10:01 am
        I love his taste of art :D
        • hgvnfmgv
          hgvnfmgvTuesday, February 2, 2021 at 1:00 pm
          Soooooo CUUUUUUUUUTE!!!
          • unicorn87
            unicorn87Sunday, January 31, 2021 at 7:00 pm
            wow! so talented. I like his name. So cool
            • adowg34thereal
              adowg34therealFriday, January 22, 2021 at 9:35 am
              This pig is so talented!!!
              • love-puppy
                love-puppyMonday, December 28, 2020 at 2:25 pm
                he yup really cute
                • love-puppy
                  love-puppyMonday, December 28, 2020 at 2:13 pm
                  I wanna pig that can paint. There so cute!
                  • love-puppy
                    love-puppyMonday, December 28, 2020 at 2:12 pm
                    I absolutly LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG'ssssssssssssssss
                    • love-art
                      love-artSaturday, December 5, 2020 at 8:56 am
                      So funny!Love the first and third pictures!