Walton Ford is known for his monumental and extremely detailed watercolours depicting wild animals. Fuelled by his fascination with their relationship to man, Ford’s work elaborates on the tradition of natural history painting, whilst infusing it with historical facts and surreal imaginings. The artist interprets and transforms stories and images, drawing from history, literature, underground comic books, legends, myths, popular films, as well as visits to natural history museums, among other sources. Ford says he seeks ‘all these different ways people are put in contact with wild animals they don’t fully understand’.
‘Ford’s creatures have neither the expressions nor the postures found in the old treatises of natural history. Never domesticated, but too intelligent to be only wild, these unclassifiable animals belong to a third genre. Which, in a way, is what Ford aspires to do: as a contemporary artist unlike others, going against the current of the conceptual doxa, developing a kind of “pulp art” which combines in novel ways classical references and the codes of mass culture.’
Claude D’Anthenaise and Jérôme Neutres
Image: Spasmodic Affection, 2019, watercolour, gouache and ink on paper, 273.1 x 152.4 cm.; 107 1/2 x 60 in.