Walton Ford is one of my favourite artists and his latest exhibition at Paul Kasmin Gallery continues his practice of expanding the visual language and narrative scope of traditional natural history painting.
Ford's large scale watercolours meditate on the often violent and bizarre moments occurring at the intersection of human culture and the natural world. Each painting is meticulous and filled with symbols, clues and jokes referencing a multitude of texts from colonial literature and folktales to travel guides. They are critiques on the history of colonialism, industrialism, politics, natural science, and man's effect on the environment.
This YouTube video (from a few years ago), is of Walton Ford talking about his art.
The Royal Menagerie at the Tower of London-3 December 1830, 2009 , watercolor, gouache, pencil, and ink on paper, 60 x 119 1/2 inches, 152.4 x 303.5 cm
An Encounter with Du Chaillu , watercolor, gouache, pencil, and ink on paper, 95 1/2 x 60 inches, 1242.6 x 142.4 cm
A Monster from Guiny, 2007 , watercolor, gouache, pencil, and ink on paper, 59 3/4 x 41 inches, 151.8 x 104.1 cm
Chaumire de Dolmanc, 2009 , watercolor, gouache, pencil, and ink on paper, 59 3/4 x 41 3/8 inches, 151.8 x 105.1 cm