"The Stupefied Babysitter"
Unlike the other Boogaloo in the Museum's collection, "Self-portrait of the Artist with His Ex-wives," this painting reveals a different side of the artist, a whimsical, almost comic temperament. The artist carefully staged the conditions, as he always did, but in this rare case let subsequent events happen as they would before he captured it on canvas.
Boogaloo's 4th wife, Margie, played an essential part in setting the stage for the painting by calling the local convent school and asking for recommendations for 'an innocent, virginal, completely inexperienced' babysitter for their precocious son, Boris (the foreground child, demonstrating his precocity with one of the neighborhood girls). After the innocent maiden arrived, the Boogaloos mentioned in passing that they had invited a few other children over to romp with Boris in the back yard pool, and there were sufficient toys and snacks on the patio picnic table there to keep them all amused. They then left, 'forgetting' to give the wide-eyed novice any contact information.
When eight other playmates showed up a few minutes after they had gone, immediately stripping down to play in the pool, the poor babysitter realized she was in over her head. The next 4 hours would prove to be the worst experience of her young life. By the time the Boogaloos returned she was sunk in a catatonic stupor, allowing the artist to capture the whole scene on Polaroid® canvas instantly. It had all worked out far better than he had dared hope. The one non-participant, young Jean de Baptiste on the far left, had been tricked into thinking he was attending a prayer meeting, and brought his holy balloon, which had been blown up personally by Pope Pius in St Peter's basilica in Rome. He added to the chaos by asking, 'Is it time to pray yet?' every few minutes and spending the rest of the time castigating his playmates for their unseemly conduct.
The babysitter was very well compensated for her ordeal, but was never the same afterwards. She became a cloistered nun to avoid being exposed to children ever again. Even pictures of the Infant Jesus would cause panic attacks. The only words she ever spoke after her trauma were on her deathbed many years later, when she was heard to mutter in her creaky, long-unused voice, 'all those bareass kids...' before slipping into oblivion.
Acquisition funded in part by the American Psychiatric Association.