Elephant self portrait on show

Pictures which were painted by elephants have gone on display at an Edinburgh gallery. They include "self-portraits" by Paya, who is said to be the only elephant to have mastered his own likeness. Paya is one of six elephants whose keepers have taught them how to hold a paintbrush in their trunks. They drop the brush when they want a new colour.

Posted by Lawrence @ 7/21/2006 13:39  |    15


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jtbartlett (Level 1 Rookie) @ 3/29/2008 18:02



There's an elephant in action. Sold?

Faktablad (Level 6 SWAT) @ 7/23/2006 08:05
Or this could be true:

"It's certainly capable of drawing an elephant, and could be trained, but might not really understand what it was doing."

flaber (Level 1 Seaman) @ 7/22/2006 21:42
the elephant at my zoo just paints colours
i dont think it actually paints anything real
just splashes of colours here and there

NobleClock (Level 2 Corporal) @ 7/22/2006 19:08
Istvan: No videos on youtube had anything to do with that paya elephant painting itself, i personally dont believe it could.

Akira (Level 5 Sniper) @ 7/22/2006 16:58
the elephants do.

Rodahue (Level 1 Intern) @ 7/22/2006 12:58
I think the elephants are just thought muscle memory for the self-portraits. The keepers guide the trunk along the portrait regularly until the elephant just memorizes the pattern...

But who knows?

iSTVAN (Level 8 Cannibal) @ 7/22/2006 09:11
Neither of those videos were of very good quality or particularly conclusive at all. Besides, I wanted to see the Elephant specifically painting a self portrait or anything figurative or non-abstract.

E-Magination (Level 3 Sniper) @ 7/22/2006 08:05
Good job NC.

NobleClock (Level 2 Corporal) @ 7/22/2006 05:18
if i was the elephant i would brutally assault the zookeeper

E-Magination (Level 3 Sniper) @ 7/22/2006 01:39
However, they look better than some submissions here...

iSTVAN (Level 8 Cannibal) @ 7/21/2006 22:12
Haha, you're right Akira. They must just keep painting until they die.

Akira (Level 5 Sniper) @ 7/21/2006 22:10
thats pretty insane. how do the keepers know when they drop the brush when they want a new colour? when i drop my brush it means i'm sick of painting.

flaber (Level 1 Seaman) @ 7/21/2006 21:37
theres a painting elephant at my zoo
iv seen it before
about the actual self portrait though, thats kinda crazy

but i have seen an elephant paint before, in real..

iSTVAN (Level 8 Cannibal) @ 7/21/2006 17:58

I find it very hard to believe this. I'd need some video footage of the Elephant in action before I'm sold.

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