2 Dec
Mad Max meets Charlotte's Web for Victorian Naturalist Enthusiasts.


It seems ludicrous to assume if one helplessly yelps into the nights sky, calling, seemingly desperate aches and moans of what one desires — labeling it in self realization terms “telling it to the universe” — that the universe will shout back. If so, what does that sound like? So, Tony Robbins, give it to me straight: if I scream out to the night sky that I want to win the Lottery that, sure enough, the matrix of winning numbers will cling to me like chiggers to a deer? Gee, happy to hear that life has been reduced to silly phonetics and universe gods granting wishes from self-helpers and inherently selfish interests. All things being said, it was only a few weeks ago that I had sat down and had some sort of cry — a plea, mainly audible to the jury that sits inside my head — but the point is, I was wanting something inspirational. Something that came in the form of illustration, pierced with intricate watercolors. Illustrations and watercolors that I was ready to start. I needed a subject. I was thinking of starting this manifestation of inspiration at the Zoo. The LA Zoo to be exact. A place lacking inspiration, more so for the animals who (I loosely say) cohabit in their respective assimilated natural environments. Again, this “caged animal” idea started another wave of thought which lead to the concept that man is obsessed with corralling, labeling, filing and controlling Phylum, Species, Kingdoms and Genus. A sort of OCD Darwinian Cataloguer. Then this thought had baton’ed into the idea that by doing so, we are beyond an apex predator, we are misery incarnate to the natural world. What does that world look like from the eyes of those who are punished? As Nero was Satan incarnate to the Jews, certainly man is such to our natural world. Low and behold, a new exhibition from Walton Ford. I suppose this “calling things out to the universe” lines up from time to time.

Walton Ford certainly has extended the race from John James Audubon, one of history’s preeminent wildlife artists and that from Charles Darwin, Life’s grand Groundskeeper and Librarian. True to Victorian scientific observers and Naturalists, Walton Ford illustrates and colors the animal kingdom with great detail and calculated observation. However, look closely and one will see a Kingdom cannibalizing itself, somewhat anthropomorphic, sardonic and displaced. Truly an original take and an eye opening view to the thoughts and intentions of the artist and his skill in his observation. Certainly a world where predator, prey and Natural Selection is over shadowed by human involvement, artificiality and the absence of symbiosis. Walton Ford is now showing at the Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York City. Walton Ford is a thoughtful, poignant and direct artist with a delicate skill. Definitely worth dropping by if you are in the area. The show runs until December 23rd.

Paul Kasmin Gallery

293 Tenth Ave.
New York, NY 10001
511 27th Street
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212.563.4474
Fax: 212.563.4494
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10am – 6pm

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