Limited Edition Giclée Canvas Gallery Edition: 26" x 45" • 20 s/n plus 2 Artist Proofs • Limited Edition: $1,800 • Artist Proof: $2,160 • Frame: 33.5" x 52.5" - $1,330
Studio Edition: 50" x 86" • 20 s/n plus 2 Artist Proofs • Limited Edition: $3,500 • Artist Proof: $4,200 • Frame: 57.5" x 93.5" - $2,200
“My raison d’être often finds me capturing the wild and raw sides of nature, where just surviving the night is a landmark event. The tallest animal to walk the planet today is an old bull giraffe. Often standing 19 feet tall and weighing in at over 3,000 pounds, these colossal giants have few enemies - unless they reside in one of the very few areas in Africa where lions specialize in giraffe hunting. Spectacularly powerful, a giraffe can deliver a kick that will kill a lion outright. The lion’s undertaking of such a formidable and large prey is one of great risk requiring finely honed skills, a great degree of patience and bit of luck.
I first came across this phenomenon over a decade ago in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. I couldn’t believe that an animal 1/6 the size of another could develop a consistent strategy to hunt and kill a giraffe. Seeing this display of skill and fortitude I was absolutely captivated and knew I had to find a way to study and subsequently paint this truly awe inspiring story. I resolved to find a place where I could witness first hand this rare and little observed behavior. Through my searches I found my way to the Bubye Valley Conservancy, an area of almost a million acres that only 30 years ago was one of the largest cattle ranches in Africa.
The Bubye Valley Conservancy, through their exceptional wildlife management and planning strategies have returned the area to its former wild glory and now provides an intact ecosystem, home to the most stable lion populations in all of Africa. Several of the resident prides have begun to specialize in hunting giraffes. On my journey I was fortunate to locate a group of exceptionally large males and set up to observe their activities on their freshly taken giraffe over the course of several days. To date, this scene is one of the most impressive in field experiences of my life, illustrating both rawness and purity and solidifying that, “It’s the Nature of the Beasts.” - John Banovich