The answer to the question whether elephant art is valuable is both “yes” and “no”, because much depends on the type of painting, on the materials used, on the artist and on the Gallery from which you buy the work. In fact buying art that is painted by an elephant is no different from buying art by humans. What makes any art special is a combination of our own perceptions (difficult to define), the distinct attributes of the artwork itself, the artist and the circumstances in which it was painted. Elephant art is no exception to these principles.

“It is important to know what you are buying.”

In the article ‘Are Paintings by Elephants Really Art?’ we have explained the difference between real elephant art, which is abstract, and the gimmicky and manipulated variety like self portraits. The prices of the latter rise and fall according to changing fads, while the prices of real elephant art can appreciate substantially over time. It is important to know what you are buying.

Let’s face it, the value of any work of art, whether by humans or elephants, is in the eyes of the beholder and what they are prepared to pay for it and the fact is that paintings have no intrinsic value apart from the materials used.

However, we all know that art that is considered ‘good’ for whatever reason has a higher perceived value than art that has no appeal. If one likes something one will pay whatever it takes to acquire it. In the case of elephant art it is certainly true that some artists’ creations are more appealing than others and therefore in greater demand.

In March 2000 Christies in New York auctioned an elephant painting for US$2,200 to someone who I hope was very happy with their purchase. Bloxhams Gallery in London has auctioned another elephant painting for GBP1,600 to someone with charitable intentions and a painting by Wanalee, one of our top artists, has sold for GBP1,000 in the UK.

Over the past 50 years art has proved to be one of the best possible financial investments that you could have made, better even than stocks and shares, bonds or precious metals. Elephant art has been growing in popularity too as more and more art collectors (and elephant lovers) around the world discover the availability of the ‘real thing’; so higher demand has led to increased prices for quality artworks. The Elephant Art Gallery’s abstract elephant art paintings have more than trebled in value since 2003 (see below), which is a fair indication of how The Elephant Art Gallery’s paintings are regarded internationally.

Not all elephant art will increase in value however. It depends on the price you pay initially for the artwork as well as all the other variables mentioned above. What you should look for is an elephant painting that is aesthetically beautiful, uses quality materials, is being sold by a reputable Gallery that guarantees the authenticity of production and (to a lesser extent of importance) is painted by a popular artist.