Since 2005, Michael Jackson‘s former bestie Bubbles the Chimp has been living at the Center for Great Apes in Florida, which cares for apes who have been abandoned after years as research subjects, pets, & performers. Bubbles, it has been widely reported, now spends his days painting watercolors and listening to flute music. Not a bad way to wind down a life as nutty as his, I suppose…
Recently Adam Brand, who owns a South Florida gallery and frame store, was invited tour of the center where he saw a painting made by one of the chimpanzees.
“It didn’t dawn on me until the three-and-a-half-hour drive back to Miami where I said ‘wow, they’re talking about a whole expansion, fundraising, they needed money,’ and I said, ‘let’s do an art show,'”
Pieces by Bubbles and other primates like Popi, who was in the seminal ’80s comedy Going Ape! alongside Tony Danza, were featured in the exhibition. The paintings were described as “bright colors jabbed across canvases in a haphazard fashion reminiscent of Jackson Pollock’s famed splatter painting” with prices ranging from $375 all the way up to $2,000. More than a dozen were sold an hour into the event.
Via Global News:
The money will ultimately go toward the center’s cost of permanently housing and caring for some primates who intense training regimes to perform on camera or in other forms of entertainment, don’t have the skills to ever return to the wild.
The main challenge now is keeping the animals stimulated in order to ensure they remain healthy and alert, which some say the paintings show they’ve been all along.
“The idea of looking at these paintings and you know on the one hand I say, ‘well isn’t this fascinating?’ but then on the other hand I say, ‘what else would you expect?’” said Deana Litowitz who said she and her husband were eyeing one of Bubbles’ paintings.
Watch the video, below.