Big Tex returned to the State Fair of Texas on Sept. 23, but his 2012 demise stays fresh in Texans’ minds.
When Dallas artist Clay Stinnett added flames to his canvases of the genial, slightly creepy looking State Fair icon, he took Big Tex’s persona and made it grittier – into a “red hot punk icon,” the Dallas Morning News said. The fact that the Dallas Morning News profiled a man who tattooed a detailed burning Big Tex on his left leg only reinforced the idea of “punk icon.” Another North Texas artist created linoleum prints and a candle depicting Big Tex’s burning visage.
When Big Tex burned in 2013, State Fair officials said they received $95,000 in donations to rebuild the iconic statue. The statue cost an estimated $500,000 to build.