Chimpanzee Photographer’s Work Sells For Over $75,000 at Auction


Mikki the chimpanzee is now the de facto king of the ape photography world. A selection of photographs by (and of) him fetched a whopping £50,000 (~$78,000) at auction this past week at Sotheby’s Auction House in London.

When we first reported on this strange photo lot back in May, the photographs were expected to sell for between £50,000 and £70,000. The final sale price came in at the lower end of that estimate, but we doubt the ape or its owners are complaining.

Check out this CBS report on this unusual body of work being sold. Jo Vickery, Sotheby’s London’s Head of Russian Art, is quoted as saying, “Obviously they’re slightly out of focus, but I think that actually Mikki is a bit of an abstract expressionist. He likes more abstract images than perhaps some figurative works.”

The lot contained 18 chromogenic prints. A selection of them are of Mikki and his photography teachers, photographers Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid:




Other prints in the lot were of shots snapped by Mikki in Moscow’s Red Square. This one, for example:


You can learn more about Mikki’s work in our previous post about this lot. If you happen to have a chimpanzee in your home, now would be a good time to start signing it up for photography workshops!

(via CBS via PictureCorrect)

  • Christian DeBaun

    Did he spend 10% of his time shooting, and the other 90% post processing?

  • Ken

    Puts a new meaning to “chimping”.

  • Tim

    I should teach my dog how to take photos, maybe I can make a cool $50k!

  • Kevin Purcell

    Amazing for an image that’s not in copyright!

  • chubbs

    Great, now in addition to people blocking the view with iPhones and iPads, we’ll also have to contend with primates.

  • Genkakuzai

    Your dog would sue you for the money ^^

  • Leonardo Abreu

    “Obviously they’re slightly out of focus…”

  • Spongebob Nopants

    I snapped a rubber band at my shutter button. Anyone want to buy the photos taken by the amazing photo taking rubber band? Only 500 samoleans

  • Spongebob Nopants

    Yes, if by “post processing” you mean flinging his own poop at the wall.

  • Nick Gleitzman

    “Moscow’s read square” – ??

  • Stacey Clarke

    I’m not being funny, but I know an elephant who paints and her paintings go for £95 each, so why were the chimps photos £75,000? I’m an artist of the human form and I find this highly annoying as it just goes to show it’s who you know not what you know.