"Every Man A King" is a proposal for a permanent public outdoor monument that takes the form of a statue that depicts a person who is selected at random from the entire city of Houston.

“Every Man A King” is a portrait of the city of Houston embodied in the likeness of one person.


"Behold a Republic! Whose every man is a King, but no one wears a crown." - William Jennings Bryan, 1900


In the tradition of great civic monuments, "Every Man A King" is a bronze figure mounted on a pedestal and placed in a prominent public location in the city of Houston. “Every Man A King” mimics the heroic statues of leaders that adorn many civic squares and public spaces. Like those monuments, this work will become a fixture of the city and community in which it is erected.

The distinction of this statue is that the person depicted will be selected at random from the City of Houston. They could be anyone, of any age, any gender, or any ethnicity. It is this unusual aspect that distinguishes “Every Man A King” from other heroic statues of this type. The "unknown person" represented in the statue of “Every Man A King” literally and figuratively represents all the people of Houston.

"Every Man A King" recognizes the "everyman" – the unheralded, the average working person, the people who go unrecognized yet make up the fabric of our community. "Every Man A King" is designed to endure and be enjoyed by everyone for decades to come.



  Every Man A King proposal [PDF]




"Every Man A King" was first conceived in 1996 by The Art Guys. [See original concept drawing below.]

The project derives its title and inspiration from the campaign song of the same title by Huey P. Long and Castro Carazo. See video, song lyrics and recording below.

The campaign song "Every Man A King" derives its title from a 1900 speech of William Jennings Bryan wherein he proclaims, "Behold a Republic! Whose every man is a King, but no one wears a crown."

Every Man A King
original concept drawing
collection of Ed and Nancy Reddin Kienholz
click on image for larger view

Huey P. Long and
Castro Carazo


Huey P. Long, Castro Carazo
© Bourne Co. Music Publishers

Why weep or slumber America
Land of brave and true
With castles and clothing and food for all
All belongs to you
Ev'r y man a King, ev'r y man a King
For you can be a millionaire
If there's something belonging to others
There's enough for all people to share
When it's sunny June and December too
Or in the Winter time or Spring
There'll be peace without end
Ev'r y neighbor a friend
And ev'r y man a King

  listen to
performed by Randy Newman

From the album “Good Old Boys”
© 1974 Warner Bros. Records Inc.


All materials copyright© The Art Guys ®. Unauthorized use prohibited.