Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills exhibit called “Calafia” of New York artists Walton Ford’s watercolor paintings told the story of the Spanish settlers of California and the animals, both real and fictitious, that were impacted negatively by this event. This exhibit consists of all large scale watercolor paintings on monumental scales of extending over ten-feet long. It is quite a feat to paint such large canvases using the medium of watercolor.
My favorite painting in this exhibit was “Ars Gratia Artis” which translates to “Art for Arts Sake.” It depicts a lion lounging beside a pool of a mid-century modern home in Hollywood. The lights of the pool cast a soft, blue glow revealing the lions tired and weary eyes. The lion looks like it is being held captive for entertainment purposes–behind his tired body are broken liquor bottles and over-turned lawn furniture indicating a party just took place.
This exhibit was a very thought-provoking and thoughtful with its exploration of the clash between humans and the animals they exploit and abuse.
Although this exhibit has since closed, to learn more about Walton Ford and “Calafia” please follow this link: https://www.gagosian.com/exhibitions/walton-ford–november-02-2017