The Texas Book Festival is thrilled to reveal the 2020 Festival poster by the late Austin artist Bob “Daddy-O” Wade, whose larger-than-life work is beloved by many across Texas and the United States.
Wade, who passed away last December, is best known for designing massive eclectic sculptures, including a giant iguana on the rooftop of the Lone Star Cafe in New York (which now sits atop a roof at the Fort Worth Zoo), cowboy boots that stand 40 feet tall at the North Star Mall in San Antonio, a 70-foot saxophone at a Houston nightclub, and countless other critters and symbols.
The art for this year’s poster, titled Let ‘er Rip, depicts a rodeo cowgirl atop a horned toad. Showcasing Wade’s unique mixed-media style and use of technicolor hues, the poster conveys a vintage Texas feel and, of course, Wade’s signature humor.
“I know Bob would have been thrilled to be the poster artist for the Texas Book Festival. It’s something he had always wanted,” says Wade’s wife, Lisa. “He loved going to the Texas Book Festival and walking up and down the street and in and out of the tents for hours, as well as going to talks and seeing friends. We have been involved with the Festival since the beginning.”
Before his death, Wade was hard at work on a book showcasing his artwork and installations throughout the years. Daddy-O’s Book of Big-Ass Art is set to publish November 4 and will feature more than 100 images of Wade’s most famous pieces, as well as the stories behind the art. Lisa Wade describes the book as “a cocktail party with so many Texas writers contributing a chapter about a Daddy-O piece of art that they were connected with.” You can pre-order the book here.
“Bob ‘Daddy-O’ Wade is the perfect choice for the Texas Book Festival’s 25th anniversary,” says DJ Stout, a longtime friend of Wade, TBF Board of Advisors member, and partner at the design firm Pentagram. “For decades he helped to define the Texas myth and he did it all with a playful wink of his eye. Daddy-O’s eclectic works and his love of the state were as big as Texas.”
If you love the 2020 Texas Book Festival poster, featuring Let ‘er Rip, you can pre-order a poster or T-shirt below. Make sure you leave a comment describing which color of shirt and size you would like!