The Gagosian Gallery

The Gagosian gallery is one of the well-known art exhibition centers in the United States. However, the museum has other exhibition facilities in other cities around the world. Upon my visit to the Los Angeles Gagosian gallery, I have to say that I used to be overwhelmed by the art on display. Notably, the works that caught my eye were these done by Walton Ford. A brief research on this artist revealed that he was born in New York City and he is a painter who leans towards the depiction of naturalism illustrations that have a tendency to portray species that have undergone extinction. This background take a look at on Walton Ford was accurate since most of the artworks I encountered had been either those of animals or landscape. The gallery’s guide proves to be useful in the interpretation of Ford’s presentation. Apparently, the Calafia showcased on the Gagosian gallery includes new paintings where Ford attempts to portray California using its rich culture of myths legends and folklore. At first, I did not understand ford’s intentions in his paintings, but after reading through the gallery guide, I became aware of the true meaning of his pictures. Mainly, I felt that most of the images try to highlight the adverse impacts of human encroachment on flora and fauna as well as the human-animal relations.

One of the images that caught my eye is the Grifo de California. This piece of art shows a fusion creature which seems to have fled to the top of a mountain evidently to escape human invasion. In another epic work title Eureka, Ford displays the wasted skeleton of an animal that likely starved to death. This is yet another illustration of environmental impacts of human activities on other living things. However of all the arts displayed, there is none that arouses my feelings more than the La Madre. In this painting, a bear is hiding on top of a hill behind a massive rock with skeletons all around. Down below, three individuals on horseback are chasing another bear while yonder, smoke billows from the thicket. Like all other paintings, this work is filled with symbols and clues that provide a narrative based on both industrialization, natural sciences as well as the effect of human on nature and the environment. In a split-second, I gather from the image that the industrialization process had implications on plants as well as animals, and humans take the blame for the extinction of a wide variety of wildlife.

During the visit, I also noticed that Walton Ford’s signature painting technique appears to be the use of watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper. In fact, almost all the paintings were made using this method. In my opinion, the artist’s application of watercolor is what adds the panoramic effect to the pictures hence making both near and far presentations to blend realistically. For example, the painting named Ars Gratia Artis shows how this technique is effective in displaying the lion lying on the edge of a pool near to the viewer while placing the glass windows on the background hence evoking thoughts regarding contemporary human-animal interactions.

By the end of the visit, I have to say that I not only learned a lot through the paintings but also aroused feelings of concern for the world. I felt saddened and troubled by the realizations Ford’s works evoked. Evidently, Rose is right when she mentions that Ford solidifies his scenes in a manner that catches the precise periods when natural order is diverted. The La Madre is one of these dismaying images that illustrate the final struggles of a dying species, moments before extinction.

Works Cited

Rose, Matthew. “Inside Walton Ford’s Brutal World of Man and Beast.” New York Times, 21 September 2015, https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/22/arts/international/inside-walton-fords-brutal-world-of-man-and-beast.html?_r=0. Accessed 14 December 2017.

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