Walton Ford On Creativity
“We create a lot of waste and we create a lot of stuff which we don’t need. We create a lot of really bad designs when we started out with good ones.”
American painter Walton Ford reflects ambivalently upon one of the big buzzwords of our time, namely creativity. Read more …
“It’s a neutral word. Like in the Buddhist tradition they talk about fire. Your fire cooks your food, but it also burns your house down. Fire doesn’t have any quality of good or bad.”
Walton Ford was born in 1960 and grew up in the Hudson Valley, New York. He received a BA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. He lives and works in New York City and Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
Walton Ford’s monumental watercolor paintings and editioned prints expand upon the visual language and narrative scope of traditional natural history painting, mediating the often violent and bizarre moments at the intersection of human culture and the natural world. Drawing from an extensive research practice that references scientific illustrations, field studies, fables, and myths, he develops stories about animals as they exist in the human imagination. Although human figures rarely appear in his paintings, their presence and effect are always implied.
Ford’s mid-career survey, Tigers of Wrath, opened at the Brooklyn Museum, New York, in 2006 and travelled within the US through 2008. Ford’s first institutional exhibition in Europe opened at Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof–Museum für Gegenwart in 2010 and travelled to the Albertina in Vienna and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark, through 2011. In 2015-16, the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris staged a solo exhibition of works by Ford, which was integrated into the museum’s collection of artwork and historical objects related to hunting, nature, and taxidermy.
Taschen has published four editions of Ford’s monograph, Pancha Tantra. His work is included in several private and public collections, including the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI; the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
Walton Ford was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner in June 2023. The conversations took place in Walton Ford’s studio in New York City and Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
Camera: Sean Hanley
Edited by: Jarl Therkelsen Kaldan
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2023
Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet and C.L. Davids Fond og Samling.
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