David Adickes' Random Big Head Lady Gone From Main Street

Sculptor David Adickes is having a rough April. The spry, 83-year-old monumentalist hewer of concrete -- famous for his president heads, gargantuan mustachioed telephones, giant Beatles, and enormous Texas heroes -- first saw the six presidential busts he had places in a busted Pearland real estate development returned home to his Heights-area studio last week.

Now joining them is the work officially known as "Looking Forward," though that bust of the lovely lady with the wind-blown hair, exceedingly randomly placed near the light rail stop at Leeland and Main, is perhaps better known by its street name of "Big Head On Main Street."

And now Big Head is on Main Street no more. Along with the Pearland president heads, she is back at Adickes's Summer Street Sculptorworx Studio, a spokesman told Hair Balls. (Adickes was unavailable today and did not return an email message earlier this week.) The lot is for sale and "Looking Forward" was sent packing, the spokesman said.

"Looking Forward" was modeled on Houston-born actress/dancer Julie Burrows, one of Adickes's former girlfriends. Back in 2006, when parking lot magnate David Loftus bought the then-nine-year-old bust, Adickes told the Houston Chronicle's Allan Turner that the statue was a testament to "elegant women."

"It's part of an image that I'm particularly fond of," Adickes said. "It's the rhythm of the hair. The high cheekbones. The Roman profile of the nose. ... I've always been partial to elegant women."

Not so much the effete aesthetes at Houston Architecture Info Forum.

They lambasted the piece on this thread, wherein the Big Head on Main Street name was apparently born.

While we are something of an effete aesthete our own self, we already miss Big Head. Now that lot is just as barren as all the others in forlorn southwest downtown; I'm already missing that sweet, very Houstonian randomness Adickes's pieces often bring to our yawning voids.

But apparently there is something about the corner of Leeland and Main that inspires romance. No sooner had Looking Forward vanished than we saw two male street people prone and interlocked in a tender, broad-daylight embrace at the now-bare base of the statue.

Just then and HPD cruiser came past on Main, and the cop took a look at the two lovers -- each of whom looked a little worse for the wear of a splash or nine of MD 20/20 - and smiled and shook his head on drove on.

But of course I didn't have a camera that day, so all I have is a picture of Big Head's "neck" after the guillotine of downtown redevelopment had its way with Main Street's Marie Antoinette.

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John Nova Lomax
Contact: John Nova Lomax