| 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.