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Betty, Meg and Little Judy

Betty, Meg and Little Judy        
Donald Roller Wilson (b. 1938)
Oil, 2003 (or 2008)

      Conversation ensues…

TARBOT: ok here is the painting
               I am completely mystified and terribly intrigued
    CROE: uhhhhhhhh
               i need a moment to gather myself
TARBOT: haha
    CROE: that was kind of the artist to give everyone a name
TARBOT: yeah
               (did I mention… priced at $30,000?)
    CROE: impressive.
               so the setting reminds me of a fairytale
               the cat as well – like puss in boots
TARBOT: mmm, ok yeah I can see that
               the bows, definitely Lady Gaga-esque
    CROE: yes. a fashion statement? or an elaborate attempt to hide
               something
               or to dress it up
               like a monkey in a bow…is still a monkey
TARBOT: oooh
    CROE: the animals are all dressed in human clothing, but their facial
               expressions reveal they are still animals
TARBOT: I’m SO very curious about the bubbles
               where did they come from?
               why did the artist choose to include them?
               how are cats and monkeys considered half-siblings?
               ok that last question was not bubble-related, but confounding
               nonetheless

    CROE: half-siblings?
TARBOT: yes, well according to the description… Meg is Little Judy’s
               half-sister
    CROE: where is the description?
TARBOT: http://www.donaldrollerwilson.com/gallery/200824/
    CROE: the poses do suggest a sisterly relationship
TARBOT: or a “Lebanese” one
               ;)
    CROE: i see that in the description, but it’s not so clear from the
               painting itself
TARBOT: yeah, not seeing it either haha
               oh, and they’re Jewish, too, right? if I understand correctly
               that tree that’s in the foreground is also in a strange placement
    CROE: yeah, there’s sort of a barrier of twigs between the monkeys and
               the cat
               it’s a really gnarled tree, with lots of pokey sticks
               so to me the bubbles suggest childish innocence
               but the sticks seem like they would puncture bubbles
               it doesn’t seem like the bubbles would last very long in this
               setting
               perhaps we’re seeing the innocence of childhood (bubbles) in
               their last moments before they are punctured
TARBOT: mmm that’d fit well with the smoking
    CROE: and the frame calling betty naughty
TARBOT: there’s some small faint writing on top of the painting
               I can’t make out what it says
               to be fair
               I do like the detail work
               and the richness of the colors
    CROE: me too!
               i actually really like it!
               especially the perplexity of it
               we haven’t really touched on rosh hashana
               is it just that they are starting the new year
               with a romp in the woods
               or is there more?
TARBOT: mmm… jewish. but they also look like they’re southern
               southern jewish monkeys and cats?
    CROE: was this made in 1938?
TARBOT: I don’t think so
               on the artist’s home page it states:
               READ ROBIN WILLIAMS’ STATEMENT
               READ CARRIE FISHER’S INTRODUCTION TO SITE
               which suggests he’s a modern artist
               ah HE was born in 1938
    CROE: what do you make of the bigger monkey’s elbow around the
               smaller one?
TARBOT: sisterly love and affection?
               as an only child, I can’t speak to it
    CROE: or is there an aspect of control?
               it’s kind of a tight elbow
               around the neck
TARBOT: well yeah, like I said, sisterly love and affection haha
    CROE: not to the level of choking
TARBOT: maybe that’s why Meg felt the need to yank on Little Judy’s ear
               perpetuating the bully … ing
    CROE: right
               that’s good
               meg’s tongue?
TARBOT: well if she is being strangled…
    CROE: is it just trying to catch a drop of sweat?
TARBOT: it?
               monkeys have feelings, too, you know
               it – is a she
    CROE: she
               sorry
               dear meg
TARBOT: we apologize for our thoughtless comments when regarding
               your presumed gender role
               sincerely
               croe and tarbot
    CROE: hear hear
               have you looked at the closeups? both meg and betty have
               eyes like jewels
               they resemble the stones in their bracelets.
               hmm, the bracelets match
TARBOT: “the jewel of my eye”
    CROE: oooooo
TARBOT: in one of the closeups we can see the text on the painting more
               clearly … just the artist’s name
               and a date, looks like
               2003 or 2008?
               all their dress buttons match too
               seriously, the details! gorgeous
               the subject matter may be … questionable and confusing, but
               the execution of this piece is really great
    CROE: the fabric falls well
               all those gathers
TARBOT: yeah
    CROE: and the bows
               they aren’t symmetrical.
               they look real
TARBOT: exactly
               ok, it’s definitely growing on me
               but not $30k worth yet!
    CROE: the lace on betty’s collar is torn
TARBOT: so it is
               well, she looks like the rambunctious sister
               her blue waist bow is all askew
               her teeth are in … poor shape
               she’s probably a tomboy at heart
    CROE: seriously
TARBOT: (no offense, tomboys)
    CROE: betty, this is why you can’t have nice things
TARBOT: think maybe Planet of the Apes inspired him?
               what was HIS lightbulb, as it were?
               :)
    CROE: haha
               could be. it looks like he has lots of monkey paintings
TARBOT: hmm I think I’m done… unless you have something else to
               add?
    CROE: i think we’ve given this one the full croe and tarbot treatment
TARBOT: haha… what does that consist of, exactly?
    CROE: Savvy, passionate, insightful, erudite, unpretentious, and
               fine commentary.
               obviously.
TARBOT: obv.
    CROE: excellent choice
               by the way
TARBOT: * cursty… you know, in the style of the southern jews *
               why thank you

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