Editors Note: Throughout the month of February, CultureMap writers are focusing on the unique, quirky and fun things that make our city special. First up: David Adickes' sculptural tribute to our hometown.
David Adickes' work is larger than life — literally.
The Houston-based artist and sculptor is best known for his towering figures, from the 70-foot homage to Sam Houston in Huntsville to a 35-foot cello player titled "The Virtuoso" outside downtown's Lyric Center, with a parade of presidential busts in between.
But Adickes latest work dispenses with figures, aiming instead for a singular statement he hopes will reach icon status.
Titled We Love Houston, the sculpture literally spells it out — except for the heart for "love," of course — in colorful concrete-and-steel letters totaling 28 feet tall.
"The most obvious comparison is the Hollywood sign," says Adickes, who also references Milton Glazer's "I ♥ NY" symbol. "I wanted 'we' instead of 'I' because it's a shared experience. We all love Houston, don't we?"
The piece will also include trees on the ends of the work and up to three smaller figures interspersed among the letters.
We Love Houston will eventually be on display along I-10 on a parcel of land owned by Adickes near Chester St. and accessible via the Patterson St. exit. Adickes is waiting for construction along the freeway (estimated to last until May) to finish before installing it. Until then it's visible at Adickes' SculptorWorx studio.
Adickes' sculpture of The Beatles — pictured circa the Sgt. Pepper era, with a geometric gauntness to them that has shades of El Greco — was originally planned to occupy the spot, but Adickes says they seemed too large.
Adickes says he has not spoken to the city about appropriating the image for use in other forums but that they are welcome to do so.
"It's just a big, festive sign," says Adickes. "I'm hoping this will become an iconic image of Houston."