Pictures Plus Telephone Picture

Big Alex, Telephone Sculpture by David Adickes, on Roof of Pictures Plus Prints and Framing, 115 Hyde Park Blvd., Montrose, Houston

Having once graced a hotel owned by a legendary real-estate swindler, David Adickes’s telephone sculpture has quite the Houston pedigree:

Adickes first placed it on a friend’s property off SH 4 and FM 1960 before leasing to J.R. McConnell, former owner of the Grand Hotel, now called The Derek, on the corner of Westheimer Road and the West Loop.

“I said that I am going to make you a deal you cannot resist,” recalled Adickes of their arrangement. McConnell leased it for a penny a day and gave the artist $36.50. “He actually paid 10 years in advance,” Adickes said, laughing at the memory.

“Big Alex” was forced to move from that location, though, when The Grand Hotel became the Derek. It lived on Adickes’ personal lot on the corner of I-45 and Quitman Street for about six months. During that time, Adickes was forced into a back and forth battle with someone who felt the face on the phone needed its mustache painted black.

Robert Kimberly finds Big Alex in its new home at the corner of Mason and Hyde Park in Montrose, on top of Pictures Plus Prints and Framing. (Yeah, you read it here first.)

Photo: Robert Kimberly

5 Comment

  • I always love seeing this when I’m in the area. Even though i know it’s there, i get a surprise every time i see it.

  • David is a talented artist whom I first met in the mid-60s, but I think his giant sculptures are ugly and contrived. Must be my art school training showing…. laughter. However, his pieces litter our swampscape, so I have become used to ignoring them.

  • Every one of Adickes’ pieces of so-called art, except the banana and especially the cellist, should be put on a barge and floated down the bayou forever. Paintings, sculpture, the whole oeuvre. Every bit of it is derivative and trite and a blight on the city. The lobby of the Omni hotel, otherwise a nice place, is infested with his dreadful 1960’s-style paintings. The public sculptures are just plain awful.

  • Brooke…. _laughter_ I was trying to be nice. Well said.

  • I would suggest staring and muttering at the ground while drinking to ease the pain of an Adickes sighting. For better or worse, the critics will have to relocate to get away from the art they hate so much. But not here, it’s where Adickes’ crazy folk-art twin brother makes his giant art.