Rookie Reps. Frankel, Murphy a study in contrasting wall decorby George Bennett | March 13th, 2013
WASHINGTON — Like many members of Congress, freshman Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, decorates her Capitol Hill office with original artwork from back home.
In Frankel’s case, six of the large paintings displayed in her office are her own creation.
Frankel describes the untitled works, rendered in brightly colored acrylic paint, as “abstract faces” that are inspired by doodles she makes while sitting in meetings.
As a freshman, Frankel said she usually has to wait until the end of a hearing to ask questions. While she waits, she often doodles — which she said shouldn’t be interpreted as a sign her mind is wandering.
“I pay attention,” she said. “There is an art to having to sit in meetings and really paying attention.”In that regard, liberal Democrat Frankel is a soulmate of conservative Republican icon Ronald Reagan, another famous political doodler.
Frankel said she began painting in the 1990s while she was in the state legislature. Asked if she was influenced by a particular painter or style of art, she said, “I don’t know. I didn’t study art. I just feel it. I’ve never been trained.”
Four of Frankel’s paintings are on the walls of her personal office in the Longworth House Office Building. Another is in the main office where the public enters and a sixth is in a back office used by staff.
Frankel said she’s also planning to display artwork by school children from her Palm Beach-Broward District 22.
While Frankel’s office features eye-popping wall decor, the other freshman in Palm Beach County’s delegation has mostly bare walls after more than two months in office.
“We’re trying to get local art,” says Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter.
Tags: Ronald Reagan