The Blog of John Walford, British-born, but long resident in The United States. I am a retired art historian, an amateur photographer, and occasional writer, who writes here about art, photography, and the human condition--some of it attempted ekphratic poetry, responding to works of art. This is to be a site for words and images, interacting on one another, as vehicles of human expression.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Dou_ble_you's "Visitors," Jan. 2008

Visitors, originally uploaded by dou_ble_you.

The Art of Viewing Viewers--Viewers Viewing Art--and Art that Views Them With Cold Indifference.

Dou_ble_you, living in London, produces some of the most surreal, and thought-proving works on Flickr that are know to me. (For the original upload of this piece, see: He is also one of the most dry-humored commentators on the works of others, always teasing the brain to think beyond the obvious.

This is one of his apparently more direct pieces--though likely as "apparent" as a painting by the early twentieth-century, Belgium Surrealist, Magritte, in which everything turns out not to be what it appears to be. Clearly here, in Dou_ble_you's photograph, some reflections come into play, altering our perceptions.

As an art historian, what captures my attention, is watching the photographer in the role of viewing viewers, viewing art, which prompts these few lines:

Art Viewing Visitors:

How cold she looks,
Face frozen in stone,
Curls not to touch
Harder than bone.

Why gaze they so?
I just don't know,
When none seem to see,
The rape I see.

-JW, 1/9/08

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John Walford

John Walford
Not All That Meets The Eye

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I am a British-born, retired art historian, who taught in the USA; I studied law, in England,1964-68; worked part-time in the art world, 1968-69; then studied art history at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 1969-76; completed my Ph.D. diss. at the University of Cambridge, 1981; moved to the States in 1981, and have since written, or co-authored, other books. My wife, Maria, was born in Milan, Italy, where she worked as an interpreter, in business; she spent seven years in Switzerland, at the University of Lausanne, 1963-70. She came to Amsterdam in 1971, and we soon married. She is a wife, mother, literary critic, of Italian (and French) literature, and completed her Ph. D. diss. in 2002, at the University of Chicago, on Cesare Pavese and His Critics. We have three married children, and twelve grandchildren, all of whom we excessively adore! I welcome dialog about art, photography, human behavior, beliefs, and motivation from all comers, regardless of race, color, gender, orientation, values, or beliefs. This is to be a site for words and images, as vehicles of human expression, around topics of mutual interest.

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