Sunday, February 04, 2001

"Fascinating Fascination" Bill Mack - Wheeler Arts Community - Feb. 4, 2001

The unveiling of “Fascination,” a large limited-edition bonded bronze relief sculpture, Feb. 4 was clumsy, at best, as people huddled to get a glimpse of it down a dimly lit hall on the second floor lobby of the Wheeler Arts Community near Fountain Square. I thought this was an awful spot for such a bulky work.

Frank Basile, a man devoted to and actively, generously supporting Indianapolis arts, donated the piece to the new Wheeler Arts Community because it was simply too big for his new home. Besides, he had to have the wall in his previous residence reinforced just to hang the bronze.

The sculpture, by California artist Bill Mack, is quite commercial and yes, cheesy, by all appearances. The good-humored Basile said he purchased the piece on impulse at Trump Towers and recounted how his family reacted when it was shipped home. They didn’t like it. In the future, I would recommend local sculptor Pat Mack (absolutely no relation!) for your one-of-a-kind, large-scale bronze figurative needs. The $7,500 current retail price of “Fascination” would have fed a few Indianapolis artists.

Bill Mack is a virtual McDonald’s of an artist, serving up more limited editions (available on eBay) of idealized, naked seductress, romance novel cover-type women with 1980s hair than any pubescent wet dream could handle. They easily date circa 1990s because the breasts are so obviously augment-inspired. With titles like “Sultry,” “Passion,” “Elvis, Elvis,” “Stallion,” and “Fantasy,” it’s no wonder that Kenny Rogers and Bill Clinton are Bill Mack art owners.

Three cheers to Basile! He was a delightful host at the ceremony, enthusiastically shaking hands and chatting with everyone.

The Indianapolis Star refused to print a photo of the sculpture because they said their paper is family-oriented. Running it would be inappropriate. That’s what Basile told me anyway. You can access the image at or

Or feast your eyes right here ...

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