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Pigeon
1985. Resin, steel. 183x213x216 cm.
I had worked with Katherine Ross, owner and director of the Drawing Room Gallery in 1984. Late summer that year she offered me a commission to create a piece for the front of her Gallery on Montrose Boulevard in Houston, Texas. She asked for something that would attract attention to the otherwise generic facade of the building.
Who better then me to install an eye catching sculpture?

My work was in the mist of a series of realistic life size figures making statements about various forms of humanity in dire need. I had finished "Tell Me of Life" earlier that year.

The Montrose Area were the gallery was located was Houston's variation on any number of urban responses to the needs of alternative life styles that began to appear in the sixties and seventies throughout the States; lots of night clubs, restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, and head shops. I remember my dad telling me that in the seventy's that he entertained his oil field clients in the "Montrose". There were a variety of exotic clubs and bars and it was easy to pick up prostitutes of any flavor there!

As with any area of urban decadence there was a fair share of human suffering. Street people, down and outs, schizophrenics, alcoholics, future presidents, drug heads, pan handlers, artists,,,,
I chose my subject for the gallery commission form one of the survivors I saw frequently on the streets around the Drawing Room Gallery. This particular woman was usually sitting or standing in front of convenience stores hitting people up for cigarettes or change to buy beer and wine. She was not aggressive and never looked you in the eye. I didn't get the sense that she was necessarily suffering but it seemed to me that she was resolved to her life of mere subsistence.

I sculpted this 'muse' vicariously from distant observation. I altered her demeanor to present a facade of perseverance and individuality. An "in your face" glare to catch the passing motorist eye and say, "look at me. I'm as good as you!"

Her downtown throne was originally to be a solid form of constructed of Ferro cement. Cement or concrete, like the curbs or stoops of the street the homeless often use for a place to sit or sleep. But when I completed the steel re-enforcing rod structure for the cement work I liked the look of it so much I decided to use the bare, simple line structure for her seat. Besides it also looked something like a cage. I knew by that time from my drawings and model for the piece that it would be called "Pigeon"; another urban survivor and the perfect metaphorical title for this work.

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