Walton Ford is the subject of a new segment on PBS's ongoing culture series "Brief but Spectacular."
Featuring an interview with the artist, the segment charts Ford's development as a painter, starting with his childhood spent sketching at the Museum of Natural History to his most recent exhibition at Kasmin in January 2018. "Growing up in the suburbs I felt like everything was manicured. I had a fantasy about being immersed in the wild," says Ford. After shifting his focus away from animals during his time at the Rhode Island School of Design, Ford eventually began creating monumental watercolors that expand upon the narrative scope of traditional natural history painting. A meditation on the intersection of human culture and the natural world, his paintings call attention to animals that he believes might "rather be left alone." Ford notes the presence of a "dark humor," in his work, citing one series on a black panther that escaped from the Zurich Zoo in 1933, and another on African explorer, Richard Burton, who domesticated and trained monkeys. "I'm looking for stories that are so much better than [what] I can make up," he says.
Tune in to PBS to hear more from Ford, as he offers his brief but spectacular take on the imagined animal.