London: A rat named Tony Blair has become the centre of attraction across art circles.
The rat, which is said to have been honing its artistic talent for the past six months, has sculpted its latest masterpiece entirely out of avocado.
Its portfolio also consists of a gnawed four-leaf clover titled Am I Still Lucky? and a chewed blanket.
RATTY ART: The rat's "art" became internationally known when its work was posted on a Web site. (REUTERS / Reinhard Krause)
In a blog about Tony, whose rodent siblings have been named Gordon Brown and Gabriel Archangel, it has been described as a self-taught artist.
The blog also says that Tony’s favourite mediums include foliage, fabric and electrical cables.
Tony’s art became internationally known when its work was posted on the website of the Saatchi gallery, a gallery for contemporary art in London.
It received 500 votes when its work went up against others in the online competition.
Gallery owner Helena Seget said that Tony had all the qualities of a good artist.
"I first noticed his creative potential when he walked across some clay tiles and left his paw prints and it went from there," the Telegraph quoted her as saying.
"I have heard of other people using rats in their art, but not a rat who produces his own art. I think he is definitely unique," she added.
Seget, who collected and photographed Tony’s work, revealed that it had an exhibition of his own in her studio.
"He is a bit of a Greta Garbo character. He likes to be alone. He is currently working on an installation on plastic bags. He drags them across the room and shreds them," she said.
"I have had rats for a while, but it was not until I got Tony that I have ever found them to have artistic talent," she added.
Craig Wilson, who manages Lime Street Studios in Ouseburn Valle, said that Tony’s work was better than about 50 per cent of the artworks he had seen to date.
"Tony is not the first animal to produce art. There are chimps who paint and that sells well. And there is an orchestra of elephant musicians in Malaysia. They hold sticks in their trunks and drum. People should not underestimate their pets," he said.