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, October 28, 2011

Flickr's dou_ble_you's "Mind Interrupted," 2011

Mind Interrupted, originally uploaded by dou_ble_you.

"On seeing and thinking"

I gaze, absorb, and think I see.
But is it what is there to see?
Can I trust my eyes? My mind?
May I write what I think I see?
Or will words falsely frame
What image cries not out?

-- JW, for UU, Oct 28, 2011.

"Splintered Thoughts That Hover in The Shadow-lands"

A disconcerting title to a truly compelling work - the lateral shadows, one with (self-)portrait, the spare, gloomy glimpses of light complementing it on the other side, and all the scattered colored facets in the center, like diamonds discarded with abandon. These elements all make for a memorable, and moving work. And yet, for all the closing out of light, there remains yet a glimpse of hope, that bleeds round the darkness of the shuttered sides. Terribly moving.

Flickr's 'unbearable lightness's "Colorful Clutter," Oct. 2011

Colorful Clutter, originally uploaded by unbearable lightness.

"Sublime in Decline"

Tread carefully across the forest floor,
Eyes ever attendant to the carpet of fall.
Each tree sends its once-green canopy,
Tumbling to the waiting ground,
In a trumpet finale of red and gold.
Cling to the memory, until next Spring!

--JW, for 'unbearable lightness'/Kent Baldner, Oct 28, 2011.

Flickr's unbearable lightness's photo of Rembrandt van Rijn: Aristotle with a Bust of Homer

This painting moves me profoundly, every time I see it. It conveys this sense of human beings finding their inspiration and "soul mates" across time and cultures - and perhaps even into eternity - as indeed I feel towards how I imagine Rembrandt, through his art, and thus much as he expresses Aristotle's sense of the profundity of Homer. "Soul mates" - the meeting of hearts and minds - the beauty of existence - the sense of continuity - all this, despite vast changes of cultural and temporal context.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Flickr's Olli Kekäläinen's "A Piece," 2011

A Piece, originally uploaded by Olli Kekäläinen.

"Softly, Softly"

So soft and gentle, caressing the eyes,
To the touch of the finger, it invites
Stretch forth the hand and find
It is but colored pixels on a screen.

--JW, for Olli Kekäläinen, Oct 23, 2011.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fickr's Jacob Schere's "18-5 Wallflower"

"The Dance of the Wall Plants"

Like in a children's puppet show,
They pop their heads up from behind,
And in their mirthful glee,
Bounce and dance above the screen.
This leaves us wondering,
If we stick our hands through
The long, narrow opening,
Can we touch them
On the other side?
--JW, for Jacob Schere, in continuing respect for your acute sense for seeing and framing a captivating image from our otherwise mundane world, Oct 21, 2011.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Flickr's Ingrid Hedbavny's "Evidence of Life in the Forlorn Book 4"

"Paper Memorials"

With words we write
What we will preserve.
Why choose we paper,
Or think it will serve?

Trust to another,
What we did say,
Alas, forgotten,
Another day.

--JW, for Ingrid Hedbavny, October 18, 2011, in recognition of this stunning mediation on an unusual memorial.

Please note: This photograph is part of a sustained photographic study of an unusual memorial tombstone, in which lies a book, see:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Homage to Steve Jobs, Oct 5, 2011

STEVE JOBS: Surely the most innovative, inspiring, and creative entrepreneur of his generation. His quest for perfection resulted in Apple Macintosh and other products that were and are a joy to handle, to use, and simply enjoy for their sheer aesthetic and functional excellence. With this simple image I both salute the passing of an inspiring individual, whose vision has enriched the lives of millions, and at the same time acknowledge the sad frailty of all of us mortals.

Respectfully, John Walford

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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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