Daub Ya (real name George) began painting pictures of fellow animals he met from his time in the World Zoo, from where he was retired in 2008. Two portraits of bear friends, ‘Pooh-Tin’ and ‘Toh-Nee’ have drawn the most attention at the show, with one critic lauding them as ‘penetratingly accurate’, whilst most critics dismissed them as ‘risible’, ‘puerile’ and ‘utter shite’.
‘A creature of such limited intelligence cannot be said to actually be producing art…’ said art critic Brian Sewell. ‘This is just primitive play, nothing more. It shows the base workings of a very under-developed brain, a knee-jerk simian simplicity of a creature more used to destruction than creativity.’
Prior to painting, Daub Ya dabbled in more abstract conceptual sculpture on a grand scale, with his haunting ‘Iraq; Wasteland’ again dividing the critics. One British fan, ‘Tony’, aged 60 said; ‘Look, I think history will be the judge, but just because Daub Ya seems to some to be like a simple chimp playing with his genitals or waving his bottom, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be right behind him.’
Other work from the World Zoo includes a explosive work on dress-fabric by ‘Clinton’ which is a splash-on Jackson Pollack-inspired effort entitled ‘For Monica,’ while ‘Vlad’s’ attractive map collage showed the whole of Eastern Europe coloured-in with the image of the Russian flag.
Daub Ya’s work, some done in crayon, but most rendered in his own faeces, is on show in Dallas Zoo until May 24th.