A Refined Point of View: Philip Edsel’s Houston

We traverse the biggest city in Texas, unearthing treasures along the way

Presented in partnership with Land Rover

After a day driving around the largest city in Texas with photographer and director Philip Edsel, we find that in a dynamic driving environment like Houston the sophisticated, all-new 2020 Range Rover Evoque from Land Rover is more than pragmatic. “Refinement, to me, is about a strong message. Something that isn’t ambiguous,” Edsel tells us about a commonality between the compact luxury SUV and Houston itself. Elegant, refined and powerful, the 2020 Evoque is the perfect vehicle to bounce from Buffalo Bayou Park to barbecue spots and beyond. Edsel guided us throughout the city, where we photographed architectural delights, window-shopped and took in plenty of Houston essentials.

by Josh Rubin

One of Houston’s most breathtaking public spaces, the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park, centers around a stunning 64-foot-tall fountain designed by John Burgee Architects with Philip Johnson. The mesmerizing entity re-circulates 11,000 gallons of water per minute, and its semi-circular shape is reminiscent of ancient Roman theaters.

by Josh Rubin

Our next stop, La Lucha—once the San Jacinto Inn—is known in the city for its delectable made-to-order fried chicken. With an interior that nods to ’70s decor and a comfortable living room style atmosphere, La Lucha is warm and welcoming.

Just a few minutes away, Manready Mercantile is a treasure trove of products, both new and vintage. While described as a general store, it offers even more—apparel for all genders and ages, homewares, handmade leather goods, apothecary products and beyond.

by Josh Rubin

Edsel says, “As a photographer I love when I get to frame bold, clean lines” and the sculpture by late Texas artist Jesús Bautista Moroles at Buffalo Bayou Park offers that, juxtaposed with plenty of surrounding trees. The expansive public space is also home to hiking and bike trails, a skate park, dog runs and much more.

Located just a five-minute drive away, Joan Miró’s “Personage and Birds” sculpture was completed in 1970 and, at 55 feet tall, is the largest piece ever commissioned from the Spanish surrealist. The colorful and striking piece is crafted from steel and cast-bronze sculpture depicts a person with birds flying around their head. It’s equal parts whimsical and bold, and certainly worth taking a look at.

by Josh Rubin

Just a 12-minute drive away, plenty more visual treats exist at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from antiquity to the current day. The museum houses some 70,000 works, hosts performances, screens films and offers workshops. The important cultural hub is currently showing various exciting exhibitions, one being Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography.

Not far away, the alluring Glassell School of Art offers inspiration inside and out—from art history classes and studio art courses, to its stunning skylights and sharp exterior lines. With lessons available for individuals from age three years old to adults, there is a lot of artistic education and support here, including postgraduate residencies for art critics and artists alike.

by Josh Rubin

Our day finishes at TRUTH BBQ, which began as a roadside outpost in Brenham, Texas but is now in Houston, too. Edsel tells us, “Brisket is the barometer by which we judge barbecue in Texas… and at TRUTH, they really embody this ethos of doing the hard work to create a good product.” With an industrial-influenced decor, relaxed atmosphere and a general store attached (where you can buy hot and BBQ sauce to take home), it’s a laid-back and friendly place. “Everybody could not have been more welcoming or more hospitable,” says Edsel. “And that’s kind of how I look at Houston.”

The 2020 Range Rover Evoque is all about refinement—it’s entirely redesigned, but immediately recognizable. Check out A Refined Point of View for Philip’s photos and more videos from the Houston stop on our tour of 10 American cities.