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Wednesday, April 26 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
Walton Ford’s Humanity Of Animals

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In his artistic practice, Walton Ford (b. 1960) engages the visual culture of natural history illustration as well as narratives pertaining to animal behavior and evolutionary science by George Orwell and Charles Darwin, respectively. Ford uses animals as surrogates to examine and exemplify human nature and man’s folly. As such, his imagery comments on our relationship with animals. His work references the limitations and ironies of mankind’s attempts to understand animals in regards to such practices as taxidermy, field research, and co-habitation. Ford’s watercolors evoke the scale and format of the well-known natural history illustrations of John James Audubon (1785-1851), but take a more humorous tone. While a small amount of scholarly research on the art of Walton Ford has focused on generalizations of the playfulness in his works, this paper will more specifically analyze the human/animal dynamic in works featuring primates, such as “Sanctuary” (1998), “Fallen Mias” (2000) and the companion pieces, “The Orientalist” and “The Forsaken” (1999).

Wednesday April 26, 2017 1:20pm - 1:40pm PDT
237 Owen Hall