Swing by eBay, type in the words “Metro Meteor,” and you’ll turn up dozens of listings with color-swirled thumbnails and prices in the “completed” view ranging from a couple hundred bucks to thousands of dollars. Those are bona fide paintings you’re looking at, and the painter — one Metro Meteor — is a horse.
No, not a painter dressed to resemble a horse, or someone helping guide a horse to conjure abstract images, but an actual paintbrush-in-its-mouth, solo-swishing-on-canvas thoroughbred bay living in rural Maryland.
Ten-year-old Metro Meteor retired from racing several years ago due to bad knees and was adopted by local artist Ron (and wife Wendy) Krajewski. But instead of riding the horse, Krajewski, a local artist, decide to teach it to paint. According to Reuters, he came up with the idea based on the notion that elephants paint with their trunks (they’re known to produce brush strokes on canvas, that is, but whether there’s actual creativity involved isn’t settled science).
The results of Krajewski’s tutelage? You’re looking at one of them in the shot above, a smeary, abstract painting (with specks of sawdust — they all have this, apparently), one in a series of similarly abstract “works” that have brought roughly $20,000 to the Krajewski’s coffers in just four months. And that’s just the start: the waiting list to snatch one of the horse’s “large” paintings has upwards of 100 queued.
Do the Krajewskis think their horse is actually creating art?
“Lets face reality. Art scholars are not going to have long lengthy discussions trying to decipher the hidden meaning to Metro’s paintings. He is a horse,” they writes on Metro Meteor’s official website. “It is what it is. A painting you can hang on your wall and tell all your friends it was painted by a horse.”
Then again, the website notes that 50% of the proceeds from Metro Meteor’s painting sales goes to help other retired racehorses find homes, which seems noble enough.