Ape Toys

Ape

Oil on Panel, 2018
Dimensions: 108 inches x 90 inches

This painting took approximately 1400 hours of
studio time spread out over 2 years. It depicts
Charles, the iconic silverback gorilla from the
Toronto Zoo, surrounded by over 70 different
ape-related toys from various generations of
pop culture. The pattern is primarily influenced
by Gothic stained glass windows.
As a child, I spent a great deal of time at the
Toronto Zoo where my aunt used to work as a
zookeeper. I would draw Charles constantly.
I've always wanted to make a large-scale painting
of Charles, but I didn't want it to be a menacing
or intimidating depiction. I wanted to present a
"gentle giant".
Because of my desire for that pose, capturing an
ideal reference photo was very difficult.
I ended up taking multiple reference photos to
create a composite sketch. This was the most
challenging painting I have ever made.

Ape Toys

Studio Image

Ape Toys

Detail

Ape Toys

Detail

Ape Toys

Detail

Ape Toys

Detail

Ape Toys

Detail

Ape Toys

Detail

Ape Toys

Detail

Ape Toys

Detail