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Meet the shocking artists behind this abstract art

Kelli Uhrich oversees the Home, Living, Pets and Holidays coverage on SheKnows.com. She is an Arizona native with the classic "small town girl moves to the big city" story, and has lived in the Phoenix-metro area since 2003. Professio...

Step aside, Picasso

There was a time when artists like Picasso, Van Gogh and Monet ruled the art world. But recently, a new assemblage of talented artists has taken the industry by storm — and who they are might surprise you. Cheyenne, Indah, Kelly and Rudi are just a few of those putting paint to canvas for the 2014 Pongos Helping Pongos art event in Houston, Texas. And what makes these artists so special is that "Pongo" just happens to be another way to say "orangutan."

When zookeepers at the Houston Zoo realized their orangutans had a knack for painting, like any good caretakers, they encouraged their animals to explore their talents. Providing them with paints, brushes and a clean white canvas led to works of art that could be displayed in any of the world's finest galleries. Or, better yet, in your home.

On Thursday, April 10, at the Masihara Pavilion at the Houston Zoo, this one-of-a-kind artwork will be displayed and auctioned in the Pongos Helping Pongos art event, which will raise money to benefit the support of orangutans in their natural habitats. Since 2004, the Houston Zoo has been hosting this event every two years, and thus far they have raised more than $200,000 to go toward the conservation efforts in Southeast Asia. Pretty amazing!

This year, attendees will not only have the chance to view pieces produced by the orangutans, they will also see collections by other species, such as elephants, leopards and babirusa. More pieces from this year's collection can be found at the Pongos Helping Pongos website.

Our top picks

"King of Hearts" by Tucker, and Asian Elephant
"King of Hearts" by Tucker, an Asian elephant

"Fire Burst" by the Siamangs
"Fire Burst" by the siamangs

"Startled Flock" by Cheyenne, and Orangutan
"Startled Flock" by Cheyenne, an orangutan

"Lazy Infinite" by Indah, an orangutan

"Wallow in Self Pride" by Jambi, a Babirusa
"Wallow in Self Pride" by Jambi, a babirusa

"Lots of Love by Shanti and Baylor, Asian Elephants
"Lots of Love" by Shanti and Baylor, Asian elephants

"Party Gras" by Solaris, an Orangutan
"Party Gras" by Solaris, an orangutan

"Santa Fe Summer" by Rudi, an Orangutan
"Santa Fe Summer" by Rudi, an orangutan

"Spring Sprung" by Hannah, a Binturong
"Spring Sprung" by Hannah, a binturong

"Simplicity at Best" by Shanti, an Asian Elephant
"Simplicity at Best" by Shanti, an Asian elephant

Watch Rudi work

 

details

Pongos Helping Pongos Art Event | Masihara Pavilion | Houston Zoo | Thursday, April 10, 2014 | 6-9 p.m. | $10 Minimum donation for admission | Art available through silent auction | More details >>

More art ideas for your home

8 Child-prodigy artists who push home decor to extremes
Unbelievable artwork for every room in your home
10 Clever ways to turn your collections into artwork

*Photos courtesy of Houston Zoo

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