donald roller wilson

A few of Donald Roller Wilson's photorealistic paintings were used as cover art for the following Frank Zappa albums:

Here is a link to some other artwork by Wilson:
http://www.wrightgallery.com/roller.htm

        From: Ben Watson
The Perfect Stranger appeared on EMI's classical subsidiary Angel.  The cover used a painting by Donald Roller Wilson.  It showed Patricia, the dog, in a high chair, alongside beautifully caught bottles of Heinz tomato ketchup, budweiser beer and baby's milk.  The full title of the painting - written in the style that may have inspired 'Evelyn, a Modified Dog' - is eighteen lines long.

PATRICIA'S LATE-NIGHT COMPLEMENTARY SNACK AT MONTE'S AND RICHARD YOAKUM'S
BOULEVARD HOUSTON TOWNHOUSE WHERE (THE NIGHT BEFORE)
DON HAD GONE UP IN SMOKE.

PATRICIA'S THICK GREEN LENSES FILTERED OUT THE SHADES OF RED
REFLECTED FROM THE HEINZ-SIGHT OF HER BOTTLE-
(THAT BRAND OF KETCHUP WE ALL LOVE SO WELL)

BUT MRS JENKIN'S GLASSES LENSES WERE A ROSY RED
AND WHEN SHE SHOOK THE CONTENTS OF THAT BOTTLE-
(THAT KIND OF KETCHUP WE ALL LOVE SO WELL)

SHE DIDN'T THINK TO SHIELD HER EYES TO NULLIFY THE RED
AND THE HOT BRIGHT LIGHT HAD LEFT HER BLIND;
BUDWEISER
(THAT TYPE OF BEER WE ALL LOVE SO WELL)

SO, WHILE PATRICIA WATCHED THAT NIGHT, HER FRIEND WENT UP IN SMOKE
LIKE DON HAD DONE, HER FLAMES LEAPED HIGHER AND HIGHER
(PAT FEARED THAT JENKINS SURELY WENT TO HELL)

BUT PATRICIA WAITED YEARS AND YEARS TO SEE IF SHE'D COME BACK
SHE WAITED BY THE TABLE WITH HER BOTTLE
(ENGAGED AND FAITHFUL IN HER SENTINEL)

(from The Paintings Of Donald Roller Wilson, 1988)

     From: Geir Corneliussen (corneliu@online.no)
Patricia is just like Coltrane,my dog.I am quite sure Patricia,the dog, is a samoyed-dog,perhaps a cross between a samoyed and another bastard.
The smile is only seen on samoyeds.They weight about 25 kilo, and are always  white,and very furry. My carpet is full of hair.I also think Patricia would eat the cream on the 'boulez' cover,but not the watermelon, and smoking!? Anyway..They were used by Roald Amundsen and by Fritjoft Nansen,the famous polar-travellers,to the northpole,or was it the southpole, or both?..Both,and also a short trip over Greenland, and back again. There are lots of them here in norway. Patricia is 2 years old, I think.

     From: VKitzen@aol.com
I have an art gallery in coral gables, florida with clients that are interested in donald's original paintings. would you please help me get in touch with him or someone who could guide me to him? i thought he lived in arkansas or alabama. i'm not sure. i would appreciate any information you can give me. thank you very much for your time. i can be e-mailed at vkitzen@aol  
my gallery address is kitzen fine art 293 miracle mile coral gables, florida 33134.

     From: Stan (ivester@utk.edu)
I was fortunate enough to pick up some Wilson posters at a gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a couple of years ago (including one with the dog seen on the cover of Them or Us), and even the posters were not cheap. I was told that Wilson's paintings have gotten to be ultra-trendy among the Hollywood set, with people like Whoopi Goldberg and Jack Nicholson buying originals and driving the prices way up.
By the way, a friend of mine actually met Wilson, who lives (or used to anyway) in Fayetteville, Arkansas. His father knows a woman who served as the model for the reclining black nun in the Wilson painting used (without permission) on one of the big multi-LP Zappa bootleg boxes. I believe she works at the University of Arkansas, also located in Fayetteville.
I really like Wilson's stuff, and I think it does make for a visual equivalent of at least some aspects of Frank's music: the obsessive details, odd recurring themes, strange juxtapositions, etc. The only better visual equivalents are Cal's stuff (of course) and the late great Neon Park --at least that Weasels cover!

     From: Adrian Clark (email@the.bottom)
While unpacking all the books from moving house a couple of weeks ago, I came across my book of Donald Roller Wilson paintings, which I hadn't looked at for years. And I smiled. Lots.
(In case anyone wants to try and buy a copy, it's called "Roller" and it's published by Chronicle Books of San Francisco... ISBN 0-87701-562-7
I'm looking at it now. "The Man Has Left the Moon Tonight..." is one of my favourites - the detail is amazing.)

     From: Patrick Neve (splat@darkwing.uoregon.edu)
"Roller: The Paintings of Donald Roller Wilson" is outta print. Also try to find: 
The Art of Donald Roller Wilson 2000 Calendar
Cal 97 Donald Roller Wilson  (by Unk)
The Dreams of Donald Roller Wilson  (by DRW)
A Strong Night Wind  (by DRW)


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soundtracks various artists