FrontRunners: Trunk Show

  • Sheila J. Gibson

Since 1998, artists Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid have been teaching laid-off loggers in Thailand and Bali to paint abstract art, and in that short time, these neophytes have established thriving professional careers. However, while their art may be colorful and eye-pleasing, it is not purchased on its merits alone. The painters, you see, are elephants; some were once used to haul felled trees but were abandoned by their owners after the logging trade in Southeast Asia went bust.

Elephant art is not a new phenomenon. Canvases painted by the late pachyderm Ruby reportedly raised more than $100,000 annually for the Phoenix Zoo. In that same vein, the art produced by Komar and Melamid’s protégés will benefit the Asian elephant, an endangered species whose population has sharply dwindled over the last century. Novica.com (877.266.8422, www.novica.com), a fine arts and home decor web site that is affiliated with National Geographic, has signed a stable of more than a dozen Asian elephants trained by the two artists to paint original acrylics. Proceeds from the sale of the art fund elephant rescue centers in Asia.

Read Next Article >>
Sotheby's
Standout items include a set of Wang Qi panel paintings expected to fetch as much as $700,000...
Illustration by Bruce Morser
Santiago Barberi Gonzalez travels the world in search of compelling art and design...
The show will showcase works from Peter Paul Rubens, Gortzius Geldorp, and more…
Photo by Michiel Elsevier Stokmans
The top lot could fetch as much as $450,000…
Bloomsbury Auctions
With a drumbeat of 50th anniversaries, Beatlemania breaks loose all over again...
timothy c. fabrizio and george f. paul
After more than a century, gramophones, phonographs, and cylinder players are prized as...
The show will exhibit exceptional offerings from 72 dealers and galleries…
Mathieu Heurtault
Auction Previews and Noteworthy Sales...
Heaping Platters  As digital downloads and streaming become the audio formats of choice for most...