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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Friday, August 28, 2009

'taology' by (Robi) Idea_Listic


taology, originally uploaded by Idea-Listic.

"Stillness before Ecstasy"

Young, and in your prime,
Gracious in your gestures,
Poised before the cosmos:
Earth, air, and water - Beware!
Fire and passion may seize you
From behind, wrapping two hands,
Round your slender waist.
And into the somnolent waters,
You both shall fall.

-- JW, for an enamored Robi, 8/28/09

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A gripping read, by "Brentjp99 (now and then)"


A gripping read, originally uploaded by Brentjp99 (now and then).

I guess there are some advantages in such a reading position, since more blood will flow to the brain, and thus facilitate the speed reading necessary to finish the book before the rope starts to fray.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Virtual Reality



Image above, "For dou_ble_you, 'If 6 Was 9 (Jimi Hendrix) II,' 2009, original by dou_ble_you, as altered by John Walford.

Text (from JW) under reads: "6 as 9, on my dime!/ Jimi boy, I loved your sound,/ In my prime./ I too cut off my locks,/ While Charlie boy was smokin' her,/ Not Princess Di!/ Now that's gotta be/ A f---'ing royal sigh!/ God save the Queen!/ Millie is, and ain't, our next queen."

Virtual Reality

My luminous, flat panel, my global interface,
I am drawn to it, mesmerized moth to lamp.
Eyes trained on images, projected on the screen,
Made one’s own, to play with, it can seem.

Eye Delight.

Then, one day, sneaking through snail mail,
A postcard from Warsaw, two playing cards,
Altered just for me, held in my hand, worn,
Browned by use, adorned, freshly inscribed.

I cried.

--JW, for dou_ble_you, 25 August, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Slip-Sliding Away


Photo: John Walford, "End of Semester Chaos, 2008"

"Slip-Sliding Away"

New Media, seductive allure, opening new worlds,
Anesthetizing focus, our brain enfolds.
Hours like minutes, slipping through our hands,
Where's self-discipline, that time commands?
Eager to learn, open to the new,
How to distinguish putrid rain from dew?

--JW, for Matthew Huggins, 8/05/09,
the 28th anniversary of my arrival in the USA,
as he and I reflect on New Media, empty content,
and human distraction. Matt: Had I not come,
we would not be having this conversation!
That surely, would have been my loss.

Anastasis - How Can It Be?


Mantegna, "Christ's Descent into Limbo," 1470-75 (Barbara Piasecka Johnson Collection).

"Anastasis"

How can it be?
What will it be?
Will it be?

Will we "be?"
Will I be me?
Which "me?"

If flesh did rot and drop,
Brittle bones break,
How shall I stand?

If drowned, or burned,
How recovered?
How restored?

Faith is to believe!
Yet us weaker ones,
Need to see, to believe.

How can it be?
We just have to
Wait, and see.


--JW, August 4th, 2009, in thinking about Mahler's Resurrection Symphony, to be performed at Wheaton College, Oct. 22-23, 2010. With thanks to my years-long friend and colleague, Joel Sheesley, for offering me Mantegna's "Christ in Limbo" of c. 1470-75, for my further reflection.

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John Walford

John Walford
Not All That Meets The Eye

About Me

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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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