Apparently it’s not enough to just “be an animal in the zoo” these days — now you have to do something, too. Jimmy, the 26-year-old chimp getting headlines for his ink-on-cardboard visions, is making it hard for the rest of the animals in zoos who’ve just been eating, sleeping, and wandering about, relying on their looks for far too long. He’s wooing crowds to the Niteroi Zoo in Rio with his artistic renderings, of which he produces three daily. Prolific.
Also, temperamental: He doesn’t like the toys that “the other chimps” play with, and he won’t paint if too many people are looking at him.
Just like Matisse, no?
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 20, 2010