Daddy-O's Book of Big-Ass Art
Recipient of three National Endowment for the Arts grants and with works exhibited at the prestigious Biennale de Paris, New York’s Whitney Museum, the de Menil Collection in Houston, and other venues, Bob “Daddy-O” Wade started “keeping it weird” in 1961 when he arrived in Austin with his ’51 custom Ford hot rod and his slicked-back hair. Primed to study art at the University of Texas, Wade’s coif and dragster earned him his trademark moniker, and the abstract, welded sculptures he fashioned from automobile bumpers in his frat house basement laid the foundations for the distinctive, larger-than-life art pieces that would eventually make him famous.
Daddy-O is the creator of the forty-foot iguana that perched atop the Lone Star Café in New York City, the immense cowboy boots (entered in the Guinness Book of World Records) outside San Antonio’s North Star Mall, and Dinosaur Bob, who graces the roof of the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature in Abilene, Texas. He is widely recognized as one of the progenitors of the “Cosmic Cowboy Culture” that emerged in Texas during the 1970s.
Daddy-O’s Book of Big-Ass Art features images of more than a hundred of Wade’s most famous pieces, complete with the wild tales that lie behind the art, told in brief essays by both Wade and more than forty noted artists and writers familiar with Wade’s work.