FrontRunners: Trunk Show

<< Back to Robb Report, September 2002

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.

When the air had cleared after the frenzy of New York’s spring art auctions, players and spectators...
This circa-1900 pink-swirl marble is in what Dan Morphy calls “wet mint condition,” or as pristine...
Photo by Bob Tursack
Maya Angelou’s art collection focused on works by African-American masters...
The display is part of a hotel-wide renovation that will be completed by the end of the year...
Heritage Auctions will also offer Mickey Mantle’s rookie card and Mike Ditka’s Super Bowl playbook…
Photo by Cordero Studios⁄corderostudios.com
Charles and Judy Tate assembled a world-class collection of Latin American art—and then gave it all...
Photo by The Strong, Rochester, N.Y.
The American game culture is almost as old as the country itself...
Photo by Michael Richter
Visitors trekked to Maastricht, the Netherlands, for the March opening day of the European Fine Art...
Photograph by Ron Pierson, courtesy of Guernsey's
The bounty from the sunken ship includes 40 tons of silver and gold valued at $450 million…
The 13 new portraits include images of Douglas Cramer, Judy Garland, and Ernesto Esposito…