Day Trips: Tony Tasset’s Eye Sculpture, Dallas: The Eye Has It – Columns

Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

The Eye in dallas is on you. As you descend Main Street through the concrete canyons of downtown, a 30-foot eye gazes out from an enclosed lawn.

The fiberglass and steel bloodshot eyeball with a sky blue iris does its part to keep Dallas weird.

The larger than life eye debuted in 2010 by artist Tony Tasset for the Chicago Loop Allianceit is Artistic Loop program. Among Tasset’s many other public art installations is a giant copy of his wife’s hand on the grounds of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Dallas-based businessman Timothy Headington brought eye art to the field in front of its chic Joule hotel in 2013. Since then, the fenced lawn has hosted weddings, private parties, the Dallas Art Fairit is eyeballand served as the background for countless selfies.

Over the years, people have guessed the artist’s intended meaning from art that used his own eye as a model. On the hotel’s website, Tasset is quoted as saying the room means “whatever you want”.

In the heart of downtown Dallas, the Joule is known for decorating the public spaces of the Old Bank Building with works by famous artists. Headington, who made his fortune in the oil and gas industry, holds an undergraduate degree in the history of University of Oklahoma.

Eye is located back from the street at 1601 Main St. between Akard and Ervay streets. Two blocks away is the AT&T Discovery District, another downtown landmark. The conglomeration of dining and entertainment options surrounds a green space. The pocket park is guarded by Spirit of Communicatinga golden statue that once towered over Broadway in New York City.


1,613th in a series. Follow “Day Trips & Beyond”, a travel blog, on austinchronicle.com/daily/travel.

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