Public art is often a mixed bag. Some people love it and some love to hate it. The Blue Mustang, a 32-foot tall cast fiberglass sculpture by New Mexico artist Luis Jiménez, exemplifies this dichotomy. Situated at the Denver airport, it makes quite the first impression. While some call the Mustang a masterpiece, others have names not so complementary, including “Bluecifer,” “Satan’s Steed” and “Blue Devil Horse.”
Jiménez was known for sculptures that embodied Southwestern and Hispanic themes. The Blue Mustang was proposed for the airport because of the role it played it symbolized the West and because horses were the original form of long-distant transport.
The 9,000-pound sculpture was by far the largest sculpture of his career and sadly, it was also his last. The artist was killed while working on the Mustang: a section of it fell on him and severed a femoral artery. His sons finished and installed the sculpture.
Born in in 1940, Luis Alfonso Jiménez Jr. was the son of Mexican immigrants. His father owned a neon sign shop in El Paso, where he worked as a youth. His experiences at the sign shop and his fascination with car culture in the border areas greatly influenced his art career: his sculptures are bright, colorful and large in scale, using fiberglass as his medium.