Author(s): Bill Buford
Beauty and the beasts: Walton Ford s sinister wildlife scenes At first glance, Walton Ford s large-scale, highly-detailed watercolors of animals recall the prints of 19th century illustrators John James Audubon and Edward Lear. A closer look reveals a complex anddisturbingly anthropomorphic universe, full ofsymbols, sly jokes, andallusions to the operatic nature of traditional natural history.In this stunning but sinister visual universe, beasts and birds are not mere aesthetic objects but ratherdynamic actors in allegorical struggles a wild turkey crushes a small parrot in its claw; a troupe of monkeys wreak havoc on a formal dinner table; an American buffalo is surrounded by bloodied white wolves. In dazzling watercolor, the images come to impress as much for theirimpeccable naturalismas they do for theircomplex narratives.This updated edition ofPancha Tantrafeatures the artist s most recent works and contextualizes his collection of bestial tableaux with anin-depth exploration of his oeuvre, a complete biography, and excerpts from his textual inspirations: Vietnamese folktales and the letters of Benjamin Franklin, theAutobiography of Benvenuto Cellini, and Audubon sOrnithological Biography. Text in English, French, and German "