Pigcasso the Local Artistic Pig's Story Turns into a Book 
Photo Cred: Pigcasso | Supplied

Remembering Pigcasso: A remarkable South African story about a little piggy’s journey from the brink of slaughter to becoming the world’s most successful non-human artist, touching millions of lives along the way.


Western Cape, South Africa (08 March 2024) – The story of Pigcasso, the artistic pig that could, is one that has evoked all the feels and awe in South Africans and the world beyond. The news of her passing brings a tinge of sadness but also serves as a reminder of the profound impact one extraordinary pig made on the world.

Pigcasso’s journey, from the brink of the slaughterhouse to international acclaim, speaks volumes about the transformative power of compassion and the indomitable spirit of a determined pig. Owned by Joanne Lefson, Pigcasso defied all odds, turning her humble beginnings into a story of triumph and creativity.

Lefson, 52, recently announced the passing of her beloved eight-year-old Pigcasso who had been suffering from chronic Rheumatoid arthritis.

Rescued from a factory farm in South Africa just weeks before facing an unthinkable fate, Pigcasso found sanctuary at Farm Sanctuary SA, a haven for rescued farm animals in Franschhoek. Under the care of Lefson and the sanctuary staff, Pigcasso flourished, her gentle soul finding solace in the freedom of expression through art. It was a serendipitous moment when Pigcasso discovered her passion for painting, her curiosity piqued by a lone paintbrush lying in the barn. What began as a simple experiment soon blossomed into a full-fledged career (that went global).

Pigcasso abstract painter
Photo Cred: Pigcasso | Supplied

Her vibrant and full-of-life abstract expressionist works captured the hearts of art enthusiasts and celebrities alike. From Ed Westwick to Rafael Nadal and Dr Jane Goodall, Pigcasso’s paintings found homes in the collections of admirers around the globe.

But Pigcasso’s impact went beyond the realm of art; her paintings raised over a million dollars (over R18 million), a remarkable feat that not only secured her place in history as the most successful non-human artist but also provided vital support to Farm Sanctuary SA. The funds generated from her artwork ensured that rescued animals received the care and attention they deserved, from food supplies to veterinary care.

Pigcasso’s journey was not without its challenges, as she battled chronic rheumatoid arthritis, a painful reminder of the harsh realities faced by animals in industrialised factory farms. Despite her struggles, Pigcasso remained a symbol of resilience, her unwavering spirit serving as a source of inspiration to all who knew her story.

In honouring Pigcasso’s memory, we celebrate a life well-lived and the profound impact she made on the world. Though she may no longer be with us, her spirit lives on through her art, a timeless reminder of the beauty that exists in the unlikeliest of places.

Photo Credit: Farm Sanctuary SA

Sources: Pigcasso 
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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