Pierre Brassau broke new ground in the art world of the 1960s. Critics hailed his work as a mixture of "powerful strokes" and "clear determination." Brassau was an artist who painted with the "delicacy of a ballet dancer." But Brassau held a terrible secret the critics didn't know.
Braussau was a chimpanzee named Peter. A Swedish journalist organized an art opening of the chimp's masterpieces as a hoax to see if critics could tell the difference between avante-garde and ape art. The chimpanzee succeeded at a task many human artists find nearly impossible. He gained fame for his work while he was still alive.
Chimp art flourished after Brassau opened the museum doors to apes. In 2004, Asuka, the chimp shown here, dazzled the art scene of Japan with her abstract pieces. She even had an art opening in Tokyo.
Micheal Jackson's pet chimp, Bubbles, sold a series of paintings for £2,000 ($3,074), reported the Mirror. The funds helped cover the ape's care bill, since Jackson's family abandoned the animal.