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, June 8, 2012

John Walford's "Déjà Vu" - with acknowledgements to Goya and ScottSantis (Chicago Tribune), June 2012 - small

Scott Santis's cartoon & the Royal Jubilee:

Scott Santis's cartoon in today's Chicago Tribune (June 8, 2012) draws effective attention to the long-standing, and dubious elevation of Speaker Michael Madigan to a de facto monarchical position within Illinois public life.

At the same time, in the context of Britain's Royal Jubilee celebrations, Santis's cartoon also calls to mind Goya's famous painting of "The Family of Charles IV of Spain," painted in 1800, as here blended in my own satirical, collaged appropriation.

The public euphoria that surrounded Britain's Jubilee celebrations makes me wonder: How is it that in today's open society, shimmering silks and satins on the royal women, and male chests laden with orders and medals, still has the power to draw out an instinct for public affirmation in the general populace? With the widespread demise of religion, has the nostalgic glamor of monarchy become the new 'opiate of the people?'

But is not such sentiment as dangerous a toxic to our civic flourishing as the unbridled power of the current Illinois House Speaker?

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John Walford

John Walford
Not All That Meets The Eye

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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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