Walton Ford's paintings are hauntingly beautiful. The first time I began to see reproductions of Ford's work in Art in America, I knew we had a bold new talent to challenge our sensibilities.
The large watercolors; enhanced with colored inks, pencil, and gouache, are superb. The play with the naturalistic sensibilities of John James Audubon's nature paintings, but always have a dark, sinister, commentary hidden in the sub-text.
The paintings are of incredible beauty, masterfully drawn, formal and structured, pristine and realistic. Yet odd forces of death, violence, and pain lurk just below the surface. The compositions and the tight use of the watercolor and ink medium create a discomfort and tension that places the works fully in the 21st century. They are Audubon combined with Kafka. The beauty draws you in and then you get caught by the sub-text, the evil little traps hidden in each work.
The monograph is full of art, Ford being a highly prolific painter. At least 70 paintings are represented in full color. You will not be diappointed.