Donald Roller Wilson
Donald Roller Wilson takes his silliness seriously. He's so good at it, in fact, that his paintings make Robin Williams laugh and smile. Robin Williams is a Roller collector; other celebrity clients include Roseanne, Jack Nicholson, Harrison Ford, Paul Simon, Elizabeth Taylor, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Martin, Meryl Streep, Carol Burnett, Diane Sawyer, and Carrie Fisher (who wrote the introduction to his book A Strong Night Wind and whose walls are lined with his works). But don't think Roller is about trendy pop culture: He may be a celebrity art darling, but his work is also collected seriously by many major museums and was a critical standout at The Corcoran Gallery of Art's 41’st Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting.
Houston born and Fayetteville, Arkansas-based, Roller is a Gothic storyteller with the phenomenal technique and precision of an old master, animating his paintings with finely wrought clothed chimpanzees, dogs, and cats, wooden matches, dill pickles, asparagus stalks, olives, and cigarette butts. He creates characters like Cookie the Baby Orangutan, Jane the Pug Girl, Jack the Jack Russell “Terror,” Loretta the Actress Cat, Miss Dog America, and Patricia the Seeing Eye Dog of Houston. Each spring from the artist's hyper-vivid imagination into lengthy caption fantasies and onto canvases that require an enormous amount of time to complete, all painted in vivid detail, reminiscent of the 16th century Dutch masters. His oil paintings are explicitly detailed, but unusual. The Washington Post stated “One utterly forgives the painter's self-indulgences for one reason . . . He is technically impeccable.”
Roller Wilson's recognizable works hang in the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn NY; Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL; Whitney Museum, New York, New York; Bank of America, San Francisco, CA; and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden- Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
So the next time you’re getting all weighed down with the heaviness of existence, look heavenward, see the floating pickle, and smile. Now you’re getting the hang of the world according to Roller. Meyer Gallery is pleased to be the exclusive New Mexico representative for Donald Roller Wilson. His techniques and treatment of subject matter are very special.
RICHARD (TENSE, WITH HIS EYES POPPING...) - Painting - available at Meyer Gallery
Memories, Mysteries, and Myths
by Ted CoConis