At age seven I got to have lunch with my childhood role model, paleontologist Robert T. Bakker. When I told him about my love for snapping turtles, he horrified my mother by announcing that "Snapping turtles make excellent pets." Which, it turned out they do – they're very hardy critters, active and intelligent as turtles go, easy to feed, and actually quite loveable. So I raised several of them through my childhood and my teenage years, and rescued many more from roads (in spite of their complaints) in Florida and Missouri.
This painting's title is an homage to Godzilla ("kaiju" is the name in Japanese for monsters, generally, but has come to mean specifically the giant ocean-going kind from the Godzilla series and more recent films like Pacific Rim. This is how I imagine snapping turtles appear to other animals in their environment: giant, terrifying, magical in all their prehistoric power.
But it's also an allusion to the lesser-known film Yakona, about the San Marcos River ecosystem – a beautiful film that has a long shot of a snapping turtle trying to kill a duck. The duck wins. The audience cheered. But I wanted the turtle to win – why do we not extend our sympathy to reptiles?
• Posters: "Kaiju (or, This Time The Turtle Wins)" signed print on semi-gloss 100 lb. cardstock.
• Giclées: Signed and numbered (series of 25) high quality archival print on canvas. Finished with a colorfast UV gloss varnish, stretched on 3/4" bars, and shipped with hanging hardware.
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