The Poltroon Hard at Work (Athena and Cyclops)
by Beth Meadows
acrylic on canvas
2011, about 3'x2'
currently on display and for sale at Old City Java
pol·troon (pälˈtro͞on): Noun: A coward.
This painting features a girl and a boy listening to records. The male is in fact the poltroon, rendering the title sarcastic. The girl is turned away conveying distance, but she sits close, showing a hesitant affection. She is alone even though she is with him.
On the walls are two paintings, one of an owl, a symbol of Athena, and one of Cyclops with two cats.
The boy is Cyclops. He lives alone but has two cats, possibly the only creatures who can tolerate him day to day. He masks his insecurity and loneliness with pompous masculinity. He sees less with his one eye, making him unperceptive, ignorant.
The girl is insecure but it takes effect differently than the boy's. She longs for him even while knowing he isn't right for her. She is the owl, or Athena, unrealized. Over time, the girl will take on attributes of Athena as a result of experiences like this.
On the surface, all seems well.
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