This issue of Elle Decor is particularly good. Perhaps save the whole issue good. There has been a lot to take in, but one of my favorite layouts was Hank Azaria’s apartment photographed by William Walden. And one of my favorite things about the apartment was the Walton Ford watercolor over the sofa.
Ford is certainly not my discovery. He is the subject of a PBS special, two books and countless articles. I don’t know how I have been unaware of his work as it is captivating and right up my alley.
To begin, it’s large. You can see that the piece hanging over Azaria’s sofa is quite big. The sofa is 18 feet. I almost always want to size up, keeping with my drama queen nature.
The subject matter is so striking. Ford wanted to recreate the feel of Audubon, but add an element of violence. The pieces are purely beautiful at first glance, but there is something unpleasant in the scene. Ford told PBS that the works, “satirize the history of colonialism and the continuing impact of political oppression on today’s social and environmental landscape.”
When I was young, younger than eight because my parents were still married, I drew a picture of two little girls in lovely dresses. They stood about three feet apart. One was saying, “I hate you.” The other replied, “I hate you, too.” Now, as a parent, I understand the flurry of conversations both with me and whispered about me, but at the time it was puzzling. Nothing had happened, no fight with a friend, it was just, things aren’t always pleasant. Unpleasantness makes people quite uncomfortable.
I wish I could have seen the exhibit of Ford’s work in Brooklyn in 2002. Doubly so because I could have flown to New York, had dinner with my big city friend and stayed at the Gramercy Park for what Taschen’s book would set me back.