Keeper of the Congo

 | Wallhanging by Rob Dreyer | Artists for Conservation

Keeper of the Congo

24.00" H x 30.00" W
Year Completed:
Portrait of a chimpanzee
Original for Sale:
Available as Ltd Edition:
Artist will donate 15% to from sale of this work.
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When I originally composed and titled my work “Keeper of the Congo,” little did I know that the painting would soon introduce me to the real “Keepers of the Congo” – researchers who live right in my hometown of Webster Groves, Missouri, doing fascinating work in the most remote area on earth – the pristine, untouched Goualougo Triangle of the Congo Basin.               

I had wanted to do a portrait of a chimpanzee, and Carol Meerts, a photographer with the St. Louis Zoo, was kind enough to provide me some photographic reference material. When I asked her what conservation cause she would like the painting to support, she introduced me to The Goualougo Triangle Ape Project. Dr. Dave Morgan along with Dr. Crickette Sanz, are co-directors of the Goualougo Triangle Ape Research Project, which is a long-term research project focusing on the behavioral ecology of sympatric chimpanzees and gorillas in the Congo Basin. After communicating with Dave long distance, I discovered that he and his wife live just a mile and a half away from my home when they aren't on the other side of the world. Small world indeed.

The Goualougo Triangle Ape Project’s “action-oriented” research is intended to assist the government in managing their forest resources, particularly regarding great apes. At the regional level they work with “cross-cutting” institutions such as Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), Central Africa Forest Commission (COMIFAC), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP). I encourage you to go to their website and get involved with their work.

My intention here was to use my portrait experience and principles of human non-verbal communication to create an impactful interaction with the viewer. You will notice that compositionally I use the structure and sightlines to draw the viewer into the chimpanzee’s eyes.  

The chimp by the way is Jimiyu, who is the beta male in the chimpanzee group at the St. Louis Zoo. In fairness to Jimi, I changed his expression a bit to achieve my artistic objective. I’m not sure he considers himself so off-putting.

All limited edition prints, both canvas and paper, come rolled in a tube.  Canvas prints are hand finished with a semi-gloss UV protectant and include enough edge canvas for stretching. Please note that the “lithographic prints” are printed on Somerset Velvet Fine Art Paper and signed in pencil.

All originals and prints come with a 30-day money back guarantee. Inquire about stretched prints.

10% of all proceeds go to The Goualoougo Triangle Ape Project.

2013 AFC International Exhibit of Nature in Art.  Currently on exhibition in China.

Available Editions of this Artwork

Edition Info Edition Size Dimensions Edition Price
Keeper of the Congo | Giclee (signed/numbered) 100 16.00" H x 12.00" W $125.00 USD
Keeper of The Congo | Lithograph Print (signed/numbered) 100 16.00" H x 12.00" W $115.00 USD

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