Sovereign leader – Mountain Gorilla Canvas Print




Sovereign Leader. 2020.

Meet Rafiki.

This art piece is based on a beautiful alpha gorilla from Uganda who was killed by poachers this June. Rafiki as the leader brought his troop to live close to humans, and built a trusting bond with them, as such the people in the area are monitoring closely because, without his leadership the troop will likely recess into the forest where they can not be as closely monitored.

When I was young, like most people, I watched Gorillas in the Mist, and then went down the rabbit hole of digesting everything I could find that was ever made by Dian Fossey and then Jane Goodall, and falling in love with gorillas and chimps, and their big beautiful soulful faces and their beyond imaginable strength, and clear intelligence.

I remember being so viciously angry at poachers – and it’s very easy to have that stance. After all they are needlessly killing the greatest animals on earth, decimating entire species for profit, most of the time for some asshole who wants to better himself by having a rare head on his wall, or some bullshit medicine.

I started working with and communicating with the people who are really working in the heart of wildlife rescue, I realized my anger was misdirected. When I was first working with a certain group they told me one of their greatest financial efforts was paying poachers to work with them, and when I looked horrified, he had to explain to me that our “civilizations” decimated so many countries, and then leave people caught in a situation where they can either kill an elephant or a rhino or gorilla, or watch their children die of malnutrition. The fault lies not in the poacher, but in the people who put them in this position.

The fragile giants pieces serve the purpose not only of making you feel, and care for, and take an active interest in wildlife, but also to educate as best I can. “The artist, like the scientist, has a crucial role to perform in our society. See things differently, act on this vision, report the failures and successes.” – John Sabraw

Rafiki was special. He was the leader, and the family is now without one. His face is an overlay of the forest he is now free to roam, twirling smoke that is a symbol of ever present danger, and ice that symbolizes the fragility of life for gorillas like Rafiki and his troop.


Each Erin Foggoa Creative art print is made carefully by true artisans, made to order and sent with care. I have partnered with only the best of art production companies to make a product that is as close to the first image as can be. You art will come with a certificate of authenticity, verifying the number of your print and that it is authorized by Erin Foggoa Creative.

The original piece is printed on canvas, brought back to Erin Foggoa’s studio, Inlayed with metal flake in rose gold, brass, gold or silver, enhanced with micah and gemstones and then coated in a lush layer of resin and signed by the artist. If you would like the original, please speak to me directly.

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