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Animals often develop symbiotic relationships, as in the case of different species of birds that clean the teeth of animals (most notably birds that clean crocodile and alligator teeth). I wanted to contrast an African animal with a North American bird to create a more symbolic idea of symbiosis. As I was working on the painting, and while working on the bird, I began thinking about the painting in terms of facing one's fears, the bird's head is turned looking into the gaping mouth of the hippo.
Tags: hippo, blue, brown, africa,