This Wall Street Journal ($) article profiles Houston sculptor David Adickes, who specializes in huge works such as the sculpture of Sam Houston on I-45 just outside of Huntsville about 60 miles north of downtown Houston. In recent months, Adickes has been working on erecting a 60-foot-tall statue of Stephen F. Austin in Brazoria County, a project that Banjo Jones has been following closely (scroll down to 10.26.05 pictures), but the WSJ reports that Adickes is contemplating an even more ambitious project — a 280-foot-tall cowboy (equivalent to a 23 story building) that Adickes envisions standing next to one of the Texas’ busiest freeways.
Alas, the Journal reports that Adickes’ creations have not brought him much critical acclaim:
Mr. Adickes’s statues don’t bring him much approval in the world of serious art. The sculptor’s skillful, Titan-sized likenesses of historical figures may have a big “gee-whiz” factor, but they’re of “minimal aesthetic interest,” says University of Kansas professor of art history David Cateforis. He likens Mr. Adickes’s statues to such artifacts of roadside Americana as the 80-foot-high Uniroyal tire outside Detroit.
Nevertheless, that noted Houston art critic — heart surgeon Denton Cooley — defends Adickes’ creations:
Famed Houston heart surgeon Denton Cooley, who is the subject of one of Mr. Adickes’s more life-size (8-foot) statues in Houston’s Texas Medical Center, sees genius in Mr. Adickes’s enormous scale.
“Some of the great wonders of the world are big things like that,” he notes.