Walton Ford

American painter Walton Ford loved drawing animals as a kid and never stopped painting the wildlife he cherished.

Did you draw animals as a kid?

It’s something that American painter Walton Ford never stopped doing.

Growing up in the 1970s, he’d go with his sketchbook to the zoo – a place he later came to critique.

Growing up in the suburbs, I felt like everything was manufactured. I had a fantasy about being in the wild.

Realistic painting of a gorilla screaming

It Makes Me Think of that Awful Day, 2011

In his 20s, Walton visited India where he drew indigenous birds.

On his return to New York, he painted scenes of animals doing human things as a way to expose colonial histories and oppression.

Over the following decades, public conversation around the environment has become more and more prominent. And Walton, as ever, has continued to paint the wild.

Realistic painting of a two monkeys in a jungle next to bones from other animals

Kooloo-kamba, 2022

Realistic painting of a panther sat by a bonfire in a snowy forrest

Vollmond, 2016

Realistic painting of a bird holding a fishing lure in its mouth

Bangalore, 2004

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