A professional illustrator and historical figure shaping American identity, Walton Ford describes his own work as "nasty underground cartoons"(Ford; Pbs). The painting titled Tur is located on the third floor of the Smithsonian Museum. This three-section watercolor depicts the prehistoric, extinct Aurochs. The large mammal was often mistaken for bison. They were, by law, only to be hunted by royalty. Tur, the polish translation for Aurochs, is the reincarnation from the imagination of German scientists. Aurochs symbolize the Soviet Union’s superior control during World War Two. Ford recreates his paintings in a style that is reminiscent directly of paintings by John James Audubon. Similar to Audubon, Ford’s includes field notes, although his are subtle hints at the grim background behind his paintings.
Walton Ford was born in 1960 in Larchmont, NY. Ford inherited his artistic genes from his father, Enfield Berry Ford also known as Flicky, who attended the Art Students League. His father inspired to be a cartoonist but ended up as the art director at Life magazine in New York City. Ford was quoted saying “He was a big personality, a big drinker, a womanizer, and a wild man…. Sort of hard to be around when I was a teen-ager” (Cohen). He is no stranger to the difficulties and darker sides of life and his fatherless past has contributed to creating the lens he looks through when forming his paintings.
From an early age the artist felt ostracized from nature and his only connection to wild life was through the natural museum of history and his uncle’s house, which was filled with taxidermy. His parents were divorced and his father suffered from alcoholism. His tough childhood forced Walton Ford to find humor in the challenging aspe...
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... cover art for the Rolling Stones greatest hits album GRRR! which commemorated the band's 50th Anniversary. He is held in high regard due to his dedicated pursuit of becoming a prominent artist and his work over the years has demonstrated his true passion for the arts.
"Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 2 (2003)." Art in the Twenty-First Century, Season 2. Art 21 Inc. Pbs, 2003. Pbs.com. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.
Cohen, David. "Back to Basics: Painters Walton Ford and Neo Rauch." Nysun.com. The New York Sun, 22 May 2008. Web. 02 Apr. 2014.
Williams, Raymond. 1976. Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. London: Fontana, 1988. ISBN 0-00-686150-4.
"Walton Ford (American, 1960)." Walton Ford on Artnet. Www.Artnet.com, 2014. Web. 12 May 2014.
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