Do you remember Michael Jackson’s old chimp, Bubbles? Years after the King of Pop died, the chimp now lives at the Center for Great Apes at Wauchula, Florida. It is a sanctuary where many apes are taken care of after their stint in Hollywood or some other place because they have become too old for showbiz or their owners have passed away.
At the center, these primates are not only given food and shelter but are also provided with recreation options. One of these is painting.
“Some apes don’t like to paint. Others get interested in it and paint and paint and paint. We just give them paper and paints and see if they like it,” said the founder of the ape sanctuary, Patti Regan.
Bubbles was among those who loved to paint; although his favorite activity is splashing in water, not painting. But he does love to paint and has several ‘masterpieces’ showing various brush strokes in vivid colors.
With the sanctuary costing a lot of money to operate ($1.95 million a year), the founders and volunteers who were trying to find ways to earn money had the brilliant idea of selling some of the residents’ paintings.
They launched an exhibit featuring 50 paintings, including 12 made by Bubbles. Some stars of Hollywood blockbuster “Planet of the Apes” also had paintings at the exhibit. Within hours after the exhibit was opened, 5 of Bubbles’ paintings were sold for $750 each.
While he wouldn’t be personally holding that money, proceeds of the sale will definitely benefit him because everything goes to the sanctuary.
The artworks are currently on display at Frames USA & Art Gallery in Miami, Florida. But people were curious as to who bought Bubbles’ art. Well, they were probably big Michael Jackson fans; although museum director Yansi Meoqui identified these people as serious art collectors and some who love chimps.