This is a painting about a happy moment in a true story with a tough ending.
On the night of a full moon in the spring of 2015, a small herd of buffalo in upstate New York escaped from a meat farm located on the east side of the Hudson River. Their leader, a powerful alpha male, led his tribe to the shores of the Hudson where they swam across in the light of the moon.They were heading west, to the lands where their ancestors once roamed wild and free. But their way was blocked by modern times and buildings and they wound up in a suburb, wandering around the backyards of a housing development, where the people who lived there called the authorities. By the time the police arrived, accompanied by local hunters who wanted to act out their big-game killing fantasies, the buffalo had made their way to a streambed. Targeted from a road above they had no chance for further escape and each and every one was slaughtered. At first I was very disturbed by this ending but later I realized if they had been humanely captured they would have been returned to the meat farm and wound up as buffalo burgers. Instead they made a brave move. They did escape and they died free. And as a friend said later, “They were still heading west.”