Franz Krone (aka Eugene W. Hahn) artist, poet, dreamer, renaissance man
2/23/1919 – 8/24/2005 Survived by those he touched, inspired and
Like Don Quixote, Otto dreamed the impossible dream, fought the unbeatable
foe, bore with unbearable sorrow and went where the brave dared not go.
Surely there was always hope when a man who had seen the worst the world
had to offer could still find enough joy to be in love, dream big dreams
and share a compassionate and open heart/mind.
Otto grew up in an orphanage and was self-taught as an artist. He served
in the military during WWII in the 82nd and 101st Airborne as a paratrooper.
He was a fierce opponent to his enemies on the battlefield, but to his
friends, a gentle spirit, generous and compassionate.
He fell on hard times back in the 1940's and 1950's wandering, loving,
learning, and practicing his art/life/love. When Otto arrived in NYC we
met in Greenwich Village at the Figaro Cafe. It was 1963. I was 16 years
old. He was 44, earning his living doing portraits on 6th Ave. and 4th
St. So enchanted was I by his spirit, joie de vivre and intensity as were
many other young people. We flocked to Otto as bees to nectar. We listened
and learned as he spoke of life, dreams and art.
Otto and I fell in love and set up house on 3rd St. above the Night Owl
Café where rock groups like The Lovin' Spoonful (I can still feel
and hear the loud drum beat that kept me up all hours of the night) got
their start. Despite our age difference, Otto's worldliness and my innocence,
we connected deeply. Ours was a passionate, deep and stormy relationship.
Otto ignited the fire within, encouraging me to dance, draw, paint and
How exciting it was to be present at the birth of his concept "The
Emerging Man"—a commentary on and celebration of life in all
iits vicissitudes. Otto worked tirelessly day and night, feverishly drawing
and painting, often giving up sleep to practice. Tired and drained after
many hours of creative output, he still had the energy to talk with anyone
who wanted to learn, discuss or expound on art.
For me, Otto's work was and continues to be his expression of love to
I watched in awe and deep respect as Otto experimented in every medium,
creating faces with deeply penetrating expressions--genuine sadness, empathy,
understanding—all expressed through a strong flowing brush or pen.
He worked with color, texture and line--here bursting with drama and excitement,
there quiet and deeply reflective, and everywhere, a quest for the beautiful.
Otto was so strong: on the outside, fiercely individual, intense and seemingly
impenetrable. But those in his circle who looked more deeply saw a touching
vulnerability that instantly captivated one's heart. Like the lotus flower
born in the mud, he opened up--to listen, share and take in the sorrows
of all. And oh, he was so easy to love.
Goodnight my sweet Otto
Sharon—Always and All Ways—August 2005