Friday, May 16, 2008

Who is Donald Roller Wilson?

I was looking at my first post about Donald Roller Wilson and it hit me that I didn't even really explain who he is, where he came from, or anything like that. Forgive me for jumping the gun! It would have been much better for me to give at least a brief bio of Roller at first before jumping straight into my "critiques". So, for the record...

Donald Roller Wilson was born November 23, 1938 in Houston, Texas, and the world hasn't been the same since. He holds MFA and BA degrees from Kansas State University, and served as an associate professor at Nebraska State University from 1966-67. Roller was also an art professor at the University of Arkansas from 1967 to 1974. He resides with his wife Kathleen, who is an artist herself, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, far from the hustle & bustle of ANY type of "art scene", yet he has still managed to attract all kinds of attention from the art world. He has also garnered several high-profile celebrity collectors such as Robin Williams (who contributed an introduction to Roller's book, "A Strong Night Wind"), Carrie Fisher (who wrote the foreword to "A Strong Night Wind"), Jack Nicholson, and many others. As diverse as his clientele is, it's amazing how the average student of art knows very little about Roller. Many art books that profile current American artists give him no mention; this is frustrating to those of us who have been trying to find out more information about this phenomenal painter. I know from personal experience...I have scoured the internet and all kinds of publication records looking for a "trail" of some sort that can give a full picture of Roller's body of work. Believe me, I'm still on the hunt...this blog is a part of that hunt, as I will post here whatever information I can find out about Roller, whether it be past exhibitions he has done, or even the style and techniques he uses (which, in my mind, are mind-boggling). Take a look at this painting, entitled "Kathleen, Encouraged and Convinced Through Faith":

So stay tuned, whoever out there is reading this blog...I hope that this blog will one day be a repository of Roller-ish info. I just believe that he deserves far more recognition than he has been getting, even though it has been quite a lot. Sorry if I am a little biased...I just think that Donald Roller Wilson is one of the most imaginative and original artists of our time.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Donald Roller Wilson -- The 1st Post!

Donald Roller Wilson: An Artist Beyond Compare

Welcome to the first post of my blog about Donald Roller Wilson! If you've never heard of Roller, or are not familiar with any of his artwork, then you've definitely come to the right place. It amazes me how many people still haven't been made aware of Roller's awesome paintings, when in my mind he is one of the most innovative American artists of all time.

Nobody does it quite like Roller. He's hard to categorize, because his work is so unique that it truly deserves its own category. If I had to take a guess, I would probably place him in the surrealist category, as well as borderline photorealism. His technique is absolutely flawless, and his ability to render the hyper-real imagery of his own crazy world is something that I personally have never seen in any other artist's work to the degree that I see it in Roller's paintings.

One of my favorite paintings is entitled "The Man Has Left the Moon Tonight". Take a look:

I would like to have that photo in the center of the page, but I haven't figured out how to tweak Blogger yet to do it (LOL). At any rate, this painting is one of the first ones I saw of Roller's; I actually came across it at my local library on the cover of a book called "The Dreams of Donald Roller Wilson", which as it turns out, is a very rare out-of-print book now. From that point on (and that was high school--I'm 33 now), I've been hooked.

I'd love to write more about this painting, and I actually think I will in an upcoming post, but for right now I have to run--gotta take my 2-year-old to the park. In the meantime, stay tuned for more posts about Donald Roller Wilson.