to Gallery of Private Collections
Red River Hogs &
Gaboon Viper (1994)
20" x 30"
river hog" is the moniker usually given to the rust-colored
form of the bushpig (Potamocheiros porcinus) that occurs
in the forests of West Africa. In this painting three of these
swine confront a large snake on the floor of a deciduous woodland.
Although capable of inflicting a lethal bite, the phlegmatic,
mild-mannered gaboon viper (Bitis gabonicus) is the likely
dark horse in this standoff. Like their barnyard cousins, bushpigs
will consume nearly anything organic. They roam in groups of
up to two dozen individuals, rooting through the soil in search
of food. Through much of Africa they havee increased their numbers
as humans have killed off most of their main predators, the leopards,
and the spread of agriculture has expanded the area of prime
habitat for the pigs. Among the many incidental creatures sharing
the setting are: a peripatus (Peripatus sp.), giant snails
(Achatina sp.), goliath beetle (Goliathus giganteus),
giant swallowtail (Drurya antimachus) and a small sedge
frog (Hyperolius sp.).