Pockets Warhol (capuchin monkey)

Pockets Warhol (born 1992) is a capuchin monkey, Abstract Expressionist artist,[1] and one of 25 residents (as of 2020-09-01) at Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary near Sunderland, Ontario, Canada.[2] Pockets came to media attention in 2011 when the sanctuary held a fundraiser featuring 40 paintings by the monkey. [3]

Early lifeEdit

According to the sanctuary,[4] Pockets was born on April 1, 1992, and lived his early life as a pet in British Columbia. In 2009, Pockets' owner was finding herself challenged to look after him, and searched for a place that could take him. On finding Story Book Farm, she flew herself and Pockets to Ontario, and stayed with Pockets for a week to get him comfortable in his new home. The former owner still keeps in touch with the sanctuary.

Start as an artistEdit

Pockets Warhol painting Queen

Shortly after Pockets arrived at the sanctuary, one of the volunteers, Charmaine Quinn, gave Pockets his surname of Warhol because his white hair reminded her of Andy Warhol.[5] This also prompted Quinn to give Pockets some children's paints to keep him busy, and he has never looked back. In December 2011, having accumulated 40 of Pockets' paintings, the sanctuary arranged an exhibition of the paintings at a Toronto diner, helping to raise funds for the sanctuary. The event was covered in the Toronto Star,[3] which in turn triggered international media coverage in/on: CBC,[6] Global News,[7] the Huffington Post (USA),[8] Maclean's Magazine,[5] and Vv Magazine.[9] A few months later, Pockets paintings were made available for sale online.[10]

Art collaborationEdit

In Sept 2013, Brent Roe[11] and Scott Cameron (aka Scotch Camera) joined an art show with Pockets Warhol at the Gladstone hotel in Toronto.[12][13] In Sept 2014, MacLeans listed Pockets as the #8 top selling art animal in the world, based on the top price fetched for a single item.[14] According to Quinn, Pockets' work has been featured in art shows as far away as Estonia, Finland,[5] and Italy,[15] and purchased online from as far away as Tasmania.[16]

In May 2016, Anita Kunz visited Pockets at the sanctuary,[17] and subsequently donated one of her own paintings for Pockets to 'enhance'.[18] Ms. Kunz later organized an art show with 80 other artists as a new fundraiser for the sanctuary, held at The Papermill Gallery, Todmorden Mills from April 6–16, 2017.[19][20] Other participants in this collaboration included: Barry Blitt, Marc Burckhardt, Cynthia von Buhler, Seymour Chwast, Sue Coe, Yuri Dojc, Louis Fishauf, Jill Greenberg, Terry Mosher, Tim O'Brien, Ralph Steadman, Ann Telnaes and Martin Wittfooth.[19]

Celebrity interactionsEdit

In April 2012, sanctuary volunteers Charmaine Quinn and Izzy Hirji presented Dr. Jane Goodall with a photo of Pockets and a painting by Pockets for her birthday at the Jane Goodall Institute in Toronto.[21]

In March 2015, the sanctuary sent a painting by Pockets to Ricky Gervais and Jane Fallon as a 'Thank you' for their support of animal rights.[22] In June 2015, Ricky Gervais tweeted that he was donating an acoustic guitar to the sanctuary, with mention of Pockets Warhol.[23] After his performance in Toronto in September 2015, Gervais donated the guitar he used there, which subsequently raised US$4,150 in an online auction.[24] The winning bidder lives in the United Kingdom.[25] As of Feb 15, 2019 the guitar is up for auction again[26] having been signed by several other celebrities: Brian May, Peter Frampton, Will Ferrell, Bryan Cranston, Dhani Harrison, Ricky Warwick, Steve Cutts. This time the proceeds will be split between Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary and Brian May's Save Me organization.

In 2020, Martin Gore of Depeche Mode commissioned artwork by Pockets to be used as the cover art for his latest EP,[27] The Third Chimpanzee, see photos at right.

Breaking the Fourth Wall by Pockets Warhol used for the front album cover of The Third Chimpanzee (2021 EP) by Martin Gore

The artwork is also featured in the accompanying music videos. [28] Martin Gore discussed this collaboration in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine on 2021-01-27.[29] The EP was released by Mute Records on 2021-01-29.[30] One track, Mandrill, was released early on 2020-11-17. [31][32] A second track, Howler, was released 2021-01-07.[33]

Pockets painting Breaking the Fourth Wall.
Fiona, a painting by Pockets Warhol, used for the back album cover of the EP The Third Chimpanzee by Martin Gore
Pockets painting Fiona.

Mention in books and mediaEdit

In June 2017, Pockets was featured in a PodCast by Phil Sansom of Cam FM at University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.[34] In March 2018, National Geographic Learning published the second edition of their Wonderful World series, in volume 1 a picture of Pockets painting is included, with a description of what he does.[35] In March 2019, a new book by Grant Hayter-Menzies called Woo, the Monkey Who Inspired Emily Carr: A Biography (Paperback – Mar 2 2019) devotes the last chapter to Pockets and the other primate residents of Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary.[36][37] Two more podcasts featured Pockets in 2019.[38][39] Portrait of Pockets, a CBC Gem Original Documentary directed by Brina Romanek began streaming Friday, February 21, 2020.[40] It tells the story of a monkey, a woman and the paintings that made them famous. Portrait of Pockets follows the life story of Pockets Warhol and his muse, their rise to world success, and the opening of their first solo exhibition.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Meet Pockets Warhol, a famous painting monkey who saved his sanctuary | Portrait of Pockets, retrieved 2021-04-29
  2. ^ "Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary". Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary. Retrieved 2019-04-24.
  3. ^ a b Vyhnak, Carola (2011-12-05). "Monkey makes Warhol-like paintings, art collectors go bananas". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2019-04-24.
  4. ^ "Meet the Monkeys - Pockets". Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary. Retrieved 2019-04-24.
  5. ^ a b c Hutchins, Aaron (2013-09-18). "My monkey could do this". Macleans. Macleans. Retrieved 2019-04-24.
  6. ^ "Monkey artist". CBC. 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  7. ^ "GlobalTV compares my art to the Masters". GlobalTV. 2011-12-07. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  8. ^ "Monkey resembling Warhol sells successful abstract paintings". Huffington Post. 2011-12-12. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
  9. ^ Hogarth, Vicki (2014-12-04). "Meet Pockets Warhol". Vv Magazine. Retrieved 2017-03-08.
  10. ^ @PocketsWarhol (2012-02-15). "I have finally started to sell my..." (Tweet). Retrieved 2017-03-08 – via Twitter.
  11. ^ Roe, Brent. "Brent Roe". Centre for Contemporary Canadian Art. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
  12. ^ "Art Pioneers Exhibit". Gladstone hotel. 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
  13. ^ O'Malley, Darryn (2013-09-20). "This monkey can paint". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
  14. ^ "Eight top selling animal artists". MacLeans. 2014-09-09. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  15. ^ "Interview with Namsal Siedlecki – Museo Apparente". NERO Magazine. 2014-03-01. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  16. ^ Warhol, Pockets. "The Long Road Home". Pockets Warhol's blog. Story Book Farm. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
  17. ^ Kunz, Anita. "Anita visits Pockets for first time". Facebook. Anita Kunz. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  18. ^ Kunz, Anita. "Pockets adds to Anita's painting". Facebook. Anita Kunz. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  19. ^ a b Kunz, Anita. "Pockets Warhol Art Collective". Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  20. ^ Kunz, Anita. "Anita's request for art donations". Facebook. Anita Kunz. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  21. ^ McArthur, Jo-Anne (2012-04-04). "Dr. Jane Goodall's birthday gift". Story Book Tails blog. Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary. Retrieved 2017-03-12.
  22. ^ Warhol, Pockets (2015-03-21). "Pockets Warhol's painting for Ricky Gervais and Jane Fallon". Facebook. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  23. ^ Gervais, Ricky (2015-06-26). "Ricky Gervais tweets about donating guitar". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  24. ^ "Ricky Gervais - Personally Owned, Played/Used, and Signed Acoustic Guitar". Ebay. 2016-01-14. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  25. ^ Casey, Liam (2016-01-15). "Ricky Gervais's guitar auctioned for $6,000 for the Ikea monkey's sanctuary". News 1130. Canadian Press. Retrieved 2017-03-14.
  26. ^ "Signed guitar - Brian May, Peter Frampton". EBay. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  27. ^ "The Third Chimpanzee". DM Live. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  28. ^ "Depeche Mode's Martin Gore Announces New EP The Third Chimpanzee, Shares Lead Single". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  29. ^ "Depeche Mode's Martin Gore on New Monkey-Themed Solo EP and Why He's Glad Trump Lost". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2021-01-28.
  30. ^ "MG - The Third Chimpanzee - Out Now". Feature.fm. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  31. ^ "Depeche Mode's Martin Gore Previews New EP With 'Mandrill'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  32. ^ "Martin L Gore Unleashes New Track 'Mandrill'". Mute Records. Retrieved 2021-01-15.
  33. ^ "Depeche Mode's Martin Gore Drops New Single That 'Almost' Sounds Human". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2021-01-16.
  34. ^ Sansom, Phil. "Apex #6 - Monkey See, Monkey Do". Mixcloud. CamFM. Retrieved 2019-02-03.
  35. ^ Wonderful World Volume 1 (2nd ed.). National Geographic Learning. 2018. pp. 83–84. ISBN 9781473760431. Retrieved 2019-02-03.
  36. ^ Hayter-Menzies, Grant (2019-03-02). Woo, the monkey who inspired Emily Carr:A biography. Douglas & McIntyre. pp. 144–157. ISBN 978-1771622141. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  37. ^ Hayter-Menzies, Grant. "Woo - the monkey who inspired Emily Carr". MONTECRISTO Magazine. MONTECRISTO. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  38. ^ "Afternoons with Mark Brenae". iHeart Radio. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  39. ^ "AI: Animal Intelligence". Apple podcasts. Preconceived. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  40. ^ Romanek, Brina. "Portrait of Pockets". CBC Gem. CBC. Retrieved 3 March 2020.

External linksEdit