Miracles begin with love. Nine children were born to two people who simply fell in love. From those nine, came twenty-two more, and from those twenty-two (who are old enough), another nine. This was the genesis for one of John Banovich’s most complicated paintings. Dick and Mary Cabela have two passions – family and wildlife. Their identity and legacy are inseparable from these two loves. In essence, “Generations,” completed in 2009, is their family portrait told through the story of elephants, and a celebration of love, family and the individuals that make it all possible.
Elephants have a unique personality and are similar to humans in many ways. They have a comparable lifespan and mature slowly. They have a strong sense of family, complicated social networks, and even mourn the loss of family members. With Generations, Banovich rendered each member of the Cabela family by encapsulating their personalities in subtle ways–while careful not to anthropomorphize the elephants to a degree that they were no longer wild creatures.
“It was a delicate balance. To stay true to the personality of each person and to the spirit of individual elephants, I spent two weeks studying hundreds of these pachyderms as they gathered at a waterhole in Botswana. I watched every day as related family units came together and socialized. From these I had to find the perfect elephant to match the individuality of each family member. This painting had to work on so many different levels. I gave myself to it, knowing it may be years before I understood its true importance.” – John Banovich
“John Banovich has raised the bar for excellence in wildlife art. His work is among the best in the world. When you read his story, it gives you a deeper respect for the man behind the art and enhances an already unparalleled visual experience.” - Dick and Mary Cabela, Founders of Cabela’s