American (b. 1960)
The Tale of Johnny Nutkin, 2001
6 Plate aquatint eitching, with drypoint, hard ground, soft ground, spit bite and sugar lift
Proof outside the edition of 50. Numbered in pencil lower left margin: "P.P. 2"; signed and dated in pencil lower right margin: "Walton 2001". A fine impression in fine condition. Sheet measures 44 x 31 inches.
The Carolina Parakeet (the species which also appears in Ford’s famed Dying Words) was a small neotropical parrot indigenous to the Eastern, Midwest, and Plains states of the US. It became extinct in the early 20th century partly due to human activities, including deforestation and hunting. The quote above the parakeet, “I wish that you all had one neck and that I had my hands on it” was written by famed serial killer and arsonist Carl Panzram in response to attempts by human rights activists to appeal his death sentence. Ford’s placement of Panzram’s quote above the bird is ambiguous; the parakeet may be decrying the humans who caused its extinction, or it may be the farmers, considering the species invasive, who wish the bird dead.
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