We Three Kings II, 2018
oil on belgian linen
50h x 75w in
127h x 190.50w cm
Limited Edition Giclee on Canvas Available
There is an old African proverb that says “An elephant never tires of carrying its tusks.” I say, the author must never have met the elephant tasked with carrying the world record tusk which weighed over 120 kilograms. Man has had a fascination this “White Gold” for centuries. Used in everything from billiard balls, piano keys and other expressions of exotic wealth, the legal sale of ivory was banned worldwide at the 1990 CITES meeting. Unfortunately the ban made illegal ivory that much more expensive, hitting its peak in 2014 selling at $2100 per kilogram, and that much more exploited. Today we are losing approximately one elephant every 15 minutes and according to the Great Elephant Census, the population numbers at only 352,000 elephants, pushing the worlds largest land mammal to the brink of extinction in many ecosystems.
Happily, Botswana today boasts the largest population for Savanna Elephants in Africa. In my depiction of “We Three Kings II” I wanted to show these three old bulls in their prime; kings of their domain, as they make their way towards the clean, cool water of the Okavango Delta after the seasonal floods. Deep in the heart of the Kalahari Desert, Botswana’s Okavango Delta offers one of the last great vestiges of wilderness on earth. Rainwater from the mountains in Angola travels over two thousand miles before ending in a network of rivers, streams, swamps and lagoons, creating the world’s largest inland delta. Legend says the Okavango is the Bible’s Garden of Eden, to these three kings, it might just be!