• This is Chantek, an orangutan who became a part of an experiment in the attempt to enculturate a great ape. He learned hundreds of signs, to understand basic spoken English, ride shotgun, use tools, and fool his researchers with clever escapes. He lived on a university campus for many years with his caretakers and all seemed to be going well for him until he was taken away, because of jumping on a college campus girl. Terrified by this strong animal, the campus sent him to a place with little no human or animal interaction. For 11 years this otherwise gentle giant was confined to a small cage. He appeared to go into a deep depression and ballooned up in weight. It is amazing the things we can do to such obviously intelligent animals! Whether a project as his should ever have been started is still debated. However, he has certainly made some question whether there is such a sharp divide between humans and beasts. I wanted to paint him because he has quite the captivating gaze. I don’t know that I believe in souls, but they do say that the eyes are the window to the soul. I hope I captured his. This is my 3rd Acrylic Painting and I am still trying to get the hang of the paints, so I am not 100 percent satisfied with it…but it will have to do.

  • 2 thoughts on “Chantek

    1. I absolutely love this! Texture, colors, brushwork, everything! You did indeed capture his character/personality/spirit. Bravo!!!

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