Yesterday, while putting the great room of Supergenius HQ back together I spent a lot of time learning about architecture on the TV. PBS was running this Ken Burns’ special on Frank Lloyd Wright and then aired an American Masters about Frank Gehry (dude who did the Weisman). Apparently to be a great architect one most be named Frank.
Okay, I have to admit I only got about 30 minutes into the Gehry thing. I mean really, how much architecture can one watch? But I did watch almost all of the Frank Lloyd Wright nonsense, mostly because it was so damn fascinating I couldn’t even blink. Before today most everything I ever knew about architecture I learned from watching the Brady Bunch. About the only thing I really knew about Frank Lloyd Wright was that he designed a gas station up north somewhere.
But here’s what I learned, FLW was like the Gene Simmons of architecture. He was arrogant, brash, and just didn’t give a damn. But he was also a genius. I kind of love him now. Mostly because he said this:
Early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose the former and have seen no reason to change.
Sure the guy was kind of a piggy womanizer but, well, the romantic in me just says he was not willing to compromise for anything but true love. Yes, we call that rationalization. I still have a hard time separating the art from the artist, and therefore when I find someone fascinating I don’t want him to be a piggy womanizer.
Now that I am trying to recount what I learned, I realized I didn’t learn much about architecture at all but a lot about Frank. For instance, he ran off to Europe with a married woman leaving behind his wife and like six kids. When he ran out of money, he moved back to the US with the woman and they shacked up. Things were good until their cook/butler decided to kill everyone in the house by bolted the doors and the windows, lighting the place on fire, and standing outside the only open door with an axe and hacking people to bits. Frank’s lover and her kids were killed.
Eventually after divorcing his first wife, and while still married to his second one, he fell inlove with a little chippy who was half his age. She was married and they ran off to Minnetonka, yes right here in Minnesota, where he was arrested for transporting a woman across state lines for immoral purposes.
All the while, he fell out of favor with the architecture community and lost all his money. Only to have the come back of the century when he designed the Fallingwater house.
Yeah, this was probably the best time I’ve had watching TV since the BookTV incident.