Interview With Artist – And Real Estate Talent – David Adickes


RH: Welcome to RED News, David. You have been the Dean of the Houston Art Community for decades now, but most people don’t know that you have had a shrewd eye for real estate deals over the years. Before we get into that, though, can you give our readers a summary of your career in painting and sculpture, including your early studies?

David Adickes: Yes…I studied painting in Paris with Fernand Leger, one of the modern biggies, for two years: 1948-50. I returned to Houston and had shows at several galleries and museums, including the Museum of Fine Art. The first big sculpture I did was for real estate developer Joe Russo at his Lyric Center building, The Cellist.

Joe was unsure if he had done the right thing putting this large sculpture up. (I wired it to ‘play’ classical music for about twelve hours a day.) About the same time, other building owners had put up large expensive sculptures by Miro and Dubuffet, one of which cost $1 million, so Joe commissioned a Houston poll to see where his The Cellist ranked of these three. It topped the list with 85% approval, so he was happy!

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UH Bauer College Institute for Regional Forecasting – Robert W. Gilmer, Ph.D., Speaker


Takeaway: Houston’s economy is on a solid footing moving forward, although there is lingering weakness in office and in multi-family as Harvey occupancy dissipates.


  • Houston has moved into a new growth cycle, although oil prices are subject to international political risk, and improved technology can find and produce more oil with fewer rigs and fewer jobs
  • Oil jobs are returning, but slowly and the industrial sector has still not gotten over the loss of oil fieldrelated shrinkage of manufacturing space; there is no anticipated return of oil & gas employment to the previous peak
  • Global growth is accelerating and with it the growing need for oil & gas
  • Most of the big refining and chemical plants are complete or nearing completion; their feasibility was based on lower-cost oil & gas; jobs in that construction sector are shrinking

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O’Connor & Associates Land Forecast Luncheon


Speaker: Kirk Laguarta / Land Advisors

Bullet Points:

  • Large master-planned communities of the future will be near the Grand Parkway and beyond.
  • Developers who used to access the huge sums needed from banks now access them from equity investors who have a medium- to long-term horizon. These investors are from the money centers and are yield-driven.
  • Some large developers have been acquired by or have very close relationships with their sources of their funding. The developers have in some cases traded potentially higher
    profits for lower risk.
  • The Houston economy has many ‘drivers’ and lot development has continued apace even through the periods when oil prices dropped. This give assurance to investors.

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