oil on belgian linen
48h x 69w in
121.92h x 175.26w cm
“Hippos are considered the most dangerous animal in Africa. They are very territorial and have little tolerance for intruders. Spending hours grazing at night on shore, hippos return to the water during the heat of the day with large bulls claiming the best spots. This old bull was kicked out of the main pod and found a small waterhole that he quickly claimed as his own and was not about to let an artist interrupt his plans. What intrigued me the most was the incredible display of teeth providing a wonderful array of color and texture just screaming to be captured in paint.” - John Banovich
Driven from the main pod, this old bull claimed a small waterhole. His scars proclaimed belligerence and intolerance. So, I did the only thing a wildlife artist in need of reactionary detail could do – I moved closer. He thrashed his head, opening his mouth to make sure I saw his teeth. The rage in his eyes gave me enough detail. Three tons of fury lunged with such speed and force that my desire to live superseded any need for intimate study. I’m pretty sure I shattered the fifty-yard-dash record that day.