Audubon on Viagra

Walton Ford was born in 1960 in Larchmont, New York. Ford graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with the intention of becoming a filmmaker, but later adapted his talents as a storyteller to his unique style of large-scale watercolor. Blending depictions of natural history with political commentary, Ford’s meticulous paintings satirize the history of colonialism and the continuing impact of slavery and other forms of political oppression on today’s social and environmental landscape. Each painting is as much a tutorial in flora and fauna as it is as a scathing indictment of the wrongs committed by nineteenth-century industrialists or, locating the work in the present, contemporary American consumer society. An enthusiast of the watercolors of John James Audubon, Ford celebrates the myth surrounding the renowned naturalist-painter while simultaneously repositioning him as an infamous anti-hero who, in reality, killed more animals than he ever painted.” - art:21

From the description of Sensations of an Infant Heart, Brooklyn Museum:

When John James Audubon was a young boy, his stepmother’s pet monkey strangled Audubon’s favorite pet parrot. The monkey was kept chained after the incident. Later Audubon would write that the “sensations of my infant heart at this cruel sight were agony to me” and that the painful memory may have been one of the reasons he painted birds.

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