You know by now that we have a thing for art that speaks up for animals. Creative advocacy is a powerful and often mysterious way to reach people with the truth of animal suffering, and — same coin, different side — the beauty of liberation. So I want to point you toward a new exhibition that is using art to advocate for animals — in a unique, beautiful, and, at times, sneakily gut-wrenching way.
Nathaniel Gold’s Equality and Individuality is a collaboration with (and benefit for) Save the Chimps. But this collaboration goes further than your run-of-the-mill partnership. In addition to Gold (who is also the author of The Chimpanzee Manifesto) painting portraits of some of the individual residents at the sanctuary, some of the chimps themselves are getting out their artist palettes and creating one of a kind paintings. But most excitingly — and here’s where the collaboration comes in — Equality and Individuality will also include pieces by both Gold and the chimps.
Here is a video of best friends, Cheetah and Timmy, painting a portrait together:
And here’s one of the truly remarkable Nathaniel Gold discussing his process of painting portraits of the rescued chimps, as well as what it’s like sharing the canvas with these non-human primate artists. You really must see this.
There is a touching interview with Gold in this week’s Scientific American blog, where he discusses how his trajectory to speak up for chimps began with a student project — a short film which he calls “the fictional story of a chimpanzee inserted into real-world events, sort of like Forest Gump, and the idea was that this chimp was now behind bars as a kind of political prisoner.” Gold also discusses his concept of using “chimps as a mask to better reveal ourselves.”
Equality and Individuality is on display in Vero Beach, FL, at Gallery 14, throughout May. According to Save the Chimps, the art may also be commissioned for $1,000, 50 percent of which will directly benefit their “special needs chimps.”
Paintings featured on www.ourhenhouse.org (currently featured on the homepage slider) are all by Nathaniel Gold and select resident chimps from Save the Chimps, and are on display at the Equality and Individuality exhibit in Vero Beach, FL.