Houston art giant busts out massive new JFK sculpture near Bush Intercontinental Airport
Where to start with all the David Adickes sculptures dotting Houston landscape? Perhaps his 44 gigantic heads paying homage to our U.S. presidents (still no Trump)? His giant cello downtown, a local landmark? His oft-photographed/Instagram fave We Love Houston sign? His 36-foot Beatles statues at 8th Wonder Brewery? Or the apropos Mount Rush Hour located at a notorious Houston bottleneck?
Indeed, the 95-year-old (yes, really) creator of iconic, white artworks (take his 67-foot, cement-and-steel statue of Sam Houston, which serves as a welcome off I-45 to his hometown of Huntsville) has become Houston's resident artist of giant works. Apropos, his latest pays tribute to a worldwide giant.
Adickes will soon install a giant, 5-ton bust of the late President John F. Kennedy, the nation's 35th president, on JFK Boulevard. Aside from a fitting nod and locale for the global figure who spent his final full day of life in Houston, the statue will also serve as a “welcome mat” to those visiting Houston and nearby George Bush Intercontinental Airport, the artist notes.
Carlos Silva and David Adickes pose with America's 35th president.Photo courtesy of East Aldine Management District
The JFK bust, which is hollow on the inside, is composed of two pieces; the head and shoulders are separate and will be welded together and then covered in plaster, according to Carlos Silva, chairman of the East Aldine Management District and its East Aldine Arts Coalition.
Heralding the famed speech given in1962 at Rice University, the statue memorializes the great declaration JFK made to a crowd of 30,000 at Rice Stadium — and to the world — marking his goals for the U.S. space program’s mission to land a man on the moon:
We choose to go to the moon, in this decade, and do other things — not because they are easy, but because they are hard.
Silva hopes to see the statue lit at night as a beacon for all who drive by and fly over. An opening ceremony is in the works, upon completion of the statue.
There will soon be a ceremony to celebrate the official installation of the statue, which Silva said he hopes to see lighted at night for people who drive by.
Beloved locally, regionally, and nationally for his larger-than-life examinations of historical figures, Adickes has received decades-long acclaim for his visionary pieces. While some art critics shrug his works off as too pedestrian (perhaps a bit small-minded criticism for the big-thinking artist), fans across the globe have flocked to his giants. And just why do they love his statues so?
"History," Adickes told Rita Braver during a CBS Sunday Morning feature last July. "Why does anybody have statues of anything, you know? History."