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.)
- Wednesday Night Photo Post: “Big Alex” by David Adickes [Neon Poisoning]
- ‘Big Alex’ making big smiles in Montrose (Google cache) [River Oaks Examiner, via Neon Poisoning]
- McConnell, five others named in bank fraud case [Houston Chronicle]
- McConnell first lost control, then hope [Houston Chronicle]
- A Big Telephone Tip [Swamplot]
Photo: Robert Kimberly