The dog, a Boxer-pit bull mix who was rescued from a North Carolina dog-fighting ring and had to get his ear amputated after severe injuries, uses his tongue to create art from his home at the Happily Furever After Rescue in Connecticut. Van Gogh the painter also famously had one ear after cutting off his left ear in a fit of madness.
Jaclyn Gartner, the founder of the rescue, got creative when teaching Van Gogh to paint with his tongue. Gartner said she placed paint and canvas into a plastic bag coated with peanut butter, which he then licks off and smears around.
“So his painting is him licking peanut butter off,” Gartner told CNN. “And while he’s licking peanut butter, all the paint is smeared around and makes the design.”
The dog, who has created 30 paintings, even had his own art show, but only two people showed up, according to the rescue. However, he has seen massive success since and has sold all of his paintings at an average of $40 each. He has also been commissioned for more.
When he’s not painting, Van Gogh loves cuddles, car rides, walks, and playing with toys, according to his PetFinder page. Van Gogh is undergoing the process of adoption, though no announcement has been made.
Even though Van Gogh is going on to a better life, dog fighting remains a pervasive crime in the United States, with 16,000 dogs estimated to die as a result of the practice each year, and 40,000 people are believed to be involved in the illegal sport. Dog fighting is considered a felony in all 50 states, according to the Humane Society. In certain states, even being a spectator at a dog-fighting event is considered a misdemeanor.