| After a little notoriety
from winning the Art League of Houston's annual "Contemporary
Views of Houston Award" in 1983; for the "Boom
Town Cruiser"; I was offered an opportunity
to do a commission for Michael J. Kline, a banker who
operated out of Houston, and Odessa, Texas. Mr. Kline
was an active collector of art and it was a great opportunity
to make some money and be in a prestigious private collection.
At some point Mr. Kline informed me that he wanted the
piece to be something of a realistic sentinel or vicarious
security guard. He had considered Dwain Hansen for commission.
But Mr. Hansen was getting six figured prices for his
work at that time and that was out of Mr. Kline's price
range. The figure was to be installed in Mr. Kline's Houston
home in the River Oaks area. He was gone from home quite
a bit. The site was the living room, which had plate glass
windows on either side, could be clearly scrutinized or
"cased" from the home's front drive or the back
My concept sketch and ultimate sculpture was an oil
field worker. A "rough neck", of
the type you commonly see in West Texas were my client's
bank was located. I had the realistic fiber glass figure
leaning on the bar in the living room.
To enhance the 6'6" intimidating "rough neck's"
authentic quality I gave him two amputated fingers on
his 'cigar' hand. The stubs were holding the stub of
a cigar! Oil workers often loose fingers, and worse,
in their sometimes hazardous profession and it was no
exaggeration on my part to include this detail. However,
Mr. Kline's sensitive side was aroused and he insisted
that I reinstate the ornery "rough neck's"
I was principled for a about three days! Then I remembered
the final payment for this basically commercial job
was to be paid at the end of the installation. Having
already spent the remaining payment in abstention I
chose the practical approach.
Michael Kline never recovered from the shock of the
"Odessa Tea Room" was eventually
banished to a multi car garage at Kline's sizable ranch
in the Texas Hill Country!
My name is Frank,
My art is rank!
Some would say it stank!
But, I am Frank,
And art is my plank.
Political swirl about my world
Is all a twirl of critical hurl?