Meet Bob “Daddy-O” Wade
Dr. Jason Mellard has this to say about Bob Wade: “Texans may think they know Bob “Daddy-O” Wade from his public projects—a forty-foot pair of cowboy boots in San Antonio, dancing frogs atop the storied truck stop Carl’s Corner, the popular hand-tinted photo emulsion canvases of cowgirls, or, amongst those of a certain cohort, the enormous iguana that crowned the legendary Lone Star Café in Manhattan—but to know these pieces is only to gain a passing acquaintance with the sprawling saga of Daddy-O. Bob’s work is so diverse, it’s like the Whitney Museum bumps up against deer asses, Robert Smithson shakes hands with Roy Rogers, and Sixties Berkeley rumbles and blends with, well, Sixties Waco.
Son of a hotel manager, Bob Wade spent his childhood sprawled across Austin, Galveston, San Antonio, Beaumont, Marfa, Waco, and El Paso. It was this last locale and its border sensibility that sunk its claws deepest into Wade. Much of Wade’s work draws on things that Wade learned as a young man somewhere between El Paso and Juarez, in the border town subversion of aesthetic hierarchies and legal niceties, its embrace of bold colors and frenetic commerce, its dark and festive humor steeped in a history of violence, its ceaseless movement and contagious optimism amidst want. Wade has taken on these themes explicitly at various points, but, perhaps more significantly, they have lent to the whole of his art a boundary-crossing quality.”