Girl With Cat
Found 08/2010, Texas Thrift (I35 and 51st St)
The primary tension in Girl With Cat is clearly between the innocence of the girl in her spring dress, her cheerful expression emphasized by the halo of balloons behind her, and the darkness of the cat she holds, a Siamese with an angry scowl. The child is light and carefree, holding a handful of flowers absent-mindedly, as if she did not know this was portrait day and hadn’t struck a forced pose. She holds her cat in a likewise informal manner, to the cat’s evident displeasure.
While much of the pleasure in this piece is in the contrast between girl and cat, light and dark, carefree and of murderous feline intent, Carroll suggests some amusing parallels between her two subjects. The child’s feet have been reduced to minimal narrow forms. Given the two-dimensional portrayal Carroll works with in this piece, in both pose and shape foot resembles paw. And the shape of the child’s extravagant shoulder ornamentation matches the pointed ears of her pet. The cat serves as the child’s shadowy animus, a reflection of her interior life beyond the smile and Sunday dress.