Spend a Couple Minutes »Walton Ford

walton ford bearsWalton Ford, whose Tigers of Wrath exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum blew me away last year is an artist I always keep an eye out for in Time Out or New York Magazine. Seeing his humongous odd Audubon paintings in person is extraordinary. Even a small, intimate show like the recently closed show at Paul Kasmin Gallery which consisted of two rooms with three epic paintings in each, is overwhelmingly beautiful.

The first painting to catch your eye is of two dwarf emus fighting with a country estate in the background. Like all his paintings, the brush stroke details are mesmerizing, in this particular case, the blood dripping from the emu's talons.

In the same room hangs the fantastic triptych titled Loss of the Lisbon Rhinoceros, where a giant scaly rhino fights with the elements in a sinking ship. In the next room another triptych portrays a German bison in a snowy field. A pastel, but eerie sunset colors the far background with bones and torturous looking posts dotting the scene.

My most favorite painting is Scipio and the Bear, a dreamlike painting that at first seems to depict three bears flying though the air. On closer inspection, the narrative become clear. The bears, rather than flying are actually being hunted and have climbed a tree in an attempt to escape, but the hunters have set the tree aflame. Breathtaking.

Ford has a few books out, but they're very expensive. Keep an eye out for inevitable upcoming gallery shows instead.

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Posted on July 7, 2008

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