The Blog of John Walford, British-born, but long resident in The United States. I am an art historian, currently studying satire in Netherlandish art, an amateur photographer, and occasional writer, who writes here about art, photography, and the human condition--some of it 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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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Nemesis Fiko's Masumiyet / innocence

"Masumiyet / innocence"

Look into my eyes,
If you dare!
Look deep, and ponder,
Be aware!
I am just a little boy,
Much like yours,
Your brother, son.

I am a Turkish boy,
Behind you see
A minaret.
My people are
Mainly Islam?
And what of yours?
Christian, you say?

Now both from
Abraham descend.
Yet destined we are
At odds to end.
Before you fight
And kill my kin,
Let new life begin.
--JW, 12/30/2008




This "Dove of Peace" also from Nemesis Fiko. See: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nemesisfiko/3138575293/

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Adoration of The Shepherds, Christmas 2008

Adoration: A Winter Wonder

I wandered through the woods at night,
The air was warmer than weeks gone by,
The wind was stiller, the sky was clear,
Here I was close to New Year.
Yet still some days lay ahead,
Before the old year was quite dead.
A break from teaching
Time did allow,
To wander, reflecting,
On then and now.
I thought about the year behind,
Those students who struggled
Tormented in mind.
Why do such people,
Strong and young,
Their lives barely begun,
Yet struggle so?
How to point them to the light?
How to offer hope, my plight?
And then it happened,
My breath did seize,
My body quivered,
Ill at ease.
For there, in shadow,
A group I saw,
Of men who did
A shining babe adore.

Friday, December 26, 2008

"Dead Air's" "Cabin Fever"


Cabin Fever, originally uploaded by Dead Air.


Responding to "Dead Air's" Cabin Fever:

Dead Air comments: "If it weren't for the internet we'd probably be screaming out loud with madness by now..."

To which I respond, with empathy:

"Temperatures here far below zero,
Glad we got our roof back in time,
Shiver, shiver, its so cold!
Thanks for Internet, it's sublime!
Across the air bands,
With image and word,
Bringing greetings
New and old!
Shake the camera,
Chill the lens,
Dead Air once more
Mystery intends."
--JW, 12/21/08
More of Dead Air's work can be seen @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/deadair/

Monday, December 22, 2008

Raising the Rafters for a New Work Space, seen from North-West, Nov 2008

Raising the Roof

A mad professor, the roof ‘tis true did raise
All the better, to voice creation’s praise.
The professoressa, admittedly did flee,
To the basement, warm, at peace to be.

The coldest December in many a year,
Indeed did deliver the worst you could fear,
Sending shivering draughts through our home,
So bad, sometimes the professor was left alone.

Such madness though, its upside had,
Tradesmen, jobless, showed up for work,
Grateful for the Christmas money,
From this home of milk and honey.

Who heard of builders keeping to time?
In this economy, its been sublime!
Ahead of schedule, everything flies,
And at three percent, loans seem a prize.

The professor’s den will soon be done,
Artwork already has been hung,
Heating now the best we ever had,
Room for books, makes my heart glad.

Soon desk, computer, files and more,
Under the roof will find place galore,
And the old man, with a gleeful smile,
Contentedly, can old age beguile.
--JW, 12/19/2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Blurred Class Boundary


A Blurred Class Boundary, originally uploaded by OlliK.

OlliK's "A Blurred Class Boundary"

Time and space,
Space and time--
These two combined,
Make equals of us all.
In that thin film
Of vaporous space
And momentary time,
When two walkers
Paths, by chance,
Do cross,
Gray space,
Gray land,
Gray water,
Gray sky,
All distinctions
Do belie.
--JW, 12/21/08

Having now looked at more than fifty of "OlliK's" recent works, I do not find a single dud among them. I was introduced to OlliK's work by his "Art Cafe" exhibit in the Flickr group of same name, bringing me one of the aesthetic highlights of a long time.

His work is beautifully conceived and executed, focused in its choice of themes, and some of the most beautiful, well-executed work--especially the cloudscapes and landscapes--that I have seen in years.

This particular piece, in its sheer subtlety and economy, is worth a thousand indifferent works on most other people's Flickr photostreams.

So judicious, so well composed, so utterly sublime!

Bravo!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter Moon, 2008.JPG


Winter Moon, 2008.JPG, originally uploaded by johnwalford.

Winter Moon

Oh! Winter Moon
Hanging silently and low,
Glowing in Darkness,
Enough by which to know,
I am not alone.
--JW, Dec 10. 2008.

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John Walford

John Walford
Not All That Meets The Eye

About Me

My photo
United States
I am a British-born, art historian, teaching 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. I am currently studying satire in Netherlandish art. 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 eight 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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