Koko communicated in many ways. She expressed herself through language and art. She painted and drew throughout her life and was able to provide insight into her work by titling each piece herself. Penny notes that Koko had an incredible memory and was able to paint “Long Life” and “Bird” without having a model in front of her to refer to. Koko wasn’t always happy with her work, but she continued to create beautiful paintings.
Her most popular prints are “Love” — the result of Penny asking Koko to paint love, and “Pink Pink Stink Nice Drink” — based on a picture in a book Koko was reading, which featured a stream with pink flowers along the banks (the ASL sign for “Stink” is the same as the sign “Flower”).
Note: You can see and/or purchase high-resolution prints of Koko’s (and Michael’s) art on our website, at koko.org/art. All proceeds go towards realizing Koko’s legacy through our 4 conservation-through-communication programs: KokoArc, KokoApp, Kids4Koko and KokoCares.