Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Art discussion: Should this sculpture stay or should it go? Tell us what YOU think:

Posted by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:12 AM
  • 66 Replies

 

Poll

Question: Should this work be moved, or stay where it is?

Options:

Stay

Go


Only group members can vote in this poll.

Total Votes: 30

View Results

Despite criticism, Denver airport's 'Devil Horse' sculpture likely to stay


Mustang sculpture

Denver International Airport. Artwork (c) 2009, The Estate of Luis Jimenez A.R.S.

Denver residents can now petition the city to get rid of "Mustang," a controversial statue at Denver International Airport.

After five years of either creeping out, intriguing or delighting travelers, the “Devil Horse” of Denver International Airport, as some critics call it, is getting a new round of attention, but it looks like it's going to stay.

Behold "Blue Mustang," a 32-foot, 9,000-pound, electric blue, anatomically correct fiberglass sculpture of a rearing horse situated along Peña Boulevard, the main road to the airport.

Its fierce looks and glowing red eyes have earned it nicknames such as "Blucifer," "Satan's Steed" and "Blue Stallion of Death.” Luis Jiménez, the artist who created it, died when a piece of the sculpture fell on his leg and severed an artery, adding to the exhibit’s eerie status.

Comments left on Denver International’s Facebook page have called it everything from “a hideous embarrassment” to “horrible, and a bit sick.” But other posters have called it “awesome” and "amazing."

As of last month, residents of the Mile High City can do more than vent online – they can ask officials to get rid of the horse.

In Denver, public art generally stays in place for five years before the city’s Commission on Cultural Affairs considers any requests to remove it, said Ginger White, a spokeswoman for the panel. The waiting period is designed to give new installations the chance to grow on people.

For “Mustang,” that window ended on Feb. 11, meaning it’s now eligible to be removed. But so far, the Denver Commission on Cultural Affairs has not received any requests to get rid of the sculpture, White told NBC News. There are no plans to discuss the horse at the group's monthly meeting on Tuesday.

For the commission to take action, a petitioner would have to demonstrate “extreme adverse public reaction” over an extended period of time, White said. Officials doubt that will happen.

Mustang sculpture

Courtesy Denver International Airport. Artwork (c) 2009, The Estate of Luis Jimenez A.R.S.

Some find the 32-foot, 9,000-pound statue creepy, while others say it gets people talking about art.

“Mustang” will most likely stay, said Denver International spokeswoman Laura Coale, calling it an iconic piece for the area. In a recent survey, travelers cited the statue as one of the airport’s most memorable features, second only to its famous tent roof, she said.

But she acknowledged not everyone is a fan.

“We continue to receive mixed feedback on ‘Mustang,’” Coale said. “It’s just like any other piece of art work. Some people really like it and some people don’t.”

Count Denver real estate agent Rachel Hultin in the “don’t like” camp. Hultin – who once launched a Facebook page titled “DIA's Heinous Blue Mustang Has Got to Go” -- calls the piece interesting but not a good fit for its location. As travelers drive to the airport, they go by the horse quickly and glimpse it for only a few seconds so they don’t get the chance to learn more about it.

"It's a really aggressive piece of art and if you’re going to do that as a gateway piece of art for your international airport, you need to have interpretive information or let people at least develop a relationship with it," she told NBC News.

Like many critics, she finds the statue’s glowing red eyes “demonic” and menacing, especially at night. But Coale said this feature is actually the artist’s tribute to his father, who was a neon sign maker.

Public objection to the sculpture seems to have calmed down considerably, Hultin observed, and even though she still thinks it doesn’t belong at the airport, she won’t petition the city to move it.

Meanwhile, The Denver Post expressed hope the horse would stay put, praising it as a symbol of the region's historical and cultural heritage.

"The sculpture is — in the true sense of the word — remarkable," the newspaper declared in an editorial last month. "'Mustang' is a sort of bizarro Mr. Ed in that it's a horse that gets people unexpectedly talking — about art."

Neon Washable Paint

by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:12 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
NWP
by guerrilla girl on Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:13 AM
1 mom liked this

Luis Alfonso Jiménez Jr. was born in El Paso, Texas, on July 30, 1940, and grew up in the city's Segundo Barrio neighborhood. His grandfather had been a glassblower in Mexico, and his undocumented immigrant father, Luis Sr., ran a sign shop and had hoped to become a professional artist himself. He had won a nationwide art competition in the 1930s, but the promised prize money fell victim to Depression-era cutbacks at the sponsoring organization and was never delivered. Instead, he poured his creativity into signs that appeared around El Paso. "Right here was the Fiesta Drive-In," Jiménez told Santiago as he showed her around El Paso. "It had a neon sign that he made of a woman dancing in a flamenco skirt in front of two guys sitting on the ground wearing sombreros. With each flash of light in the circuit, her dress would appear to go higher and higher, until at the end the guys' hats would fly up in the air. That was typical of my dad's signs—lots of action and color."

Jiménez started working in the shop at age six, becoming familiar with industrial materials such as fiberglass and the paints that could be used on them. The family appreciated art where they found it.


Read more: http://www.notablebiographies.com/supp/Supplement-Fl-Ka/Jim-nez-Luis.html#ixzz2Mg8F5EHk

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Public sculptures, with their large audiences, often become lightning rods for controversy, and Jiménez's works, with their rough realism and sharp social agendas, were perhaps more controversial than most. The cowboy shown in Vaquero was Mexican, and he was also waving a pistol while riding on horseback. Both images were accurate historically; Jiménez meant the sculpture as a correction to traditional cowboy imagery that generally depicted cowboys as Anglo-American and sanitized the violence inherent in Western life. But city officials balked at installing the sculpture in its original location and instead suggested a location in Moody Park, in a predominantly Latino neighborhood. There, too, the sculpture encountered criticism. Jiménez met with local activists to discuss the work, however, and the result was strong community support for keeping the sculpture. The pattern of official disapproval followed by grassroots support would be repeated several times over the course of Jiménez's career. A cast of Vaquero was later installed in front of the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Among Jiménez's most famous sculptures was Southwest Pietà (1984), which fused Christian and Native American imagery. It showed the mythological lovers Popocatepetl and Ixtacihuatl after whom the two large volcanoes near Mexico City are named; the deceased Ixtacihuatl lies on her lover's lap, in a pose reminiscent of Michelangelo's famous sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding the lifeless body of Jesus. The figures are embedded in the back of a bald eagle. This sculpture too encountered criticism from activists. "Critics, who say it depicts the aftermath of the rape of an Indian maiden by a Spanish conquistador, say it is offensive to those of Spanish heritage," noted an Albuquerque Journal article quoted by Santiago. The sculpture was moved to Albuquerque's Martineztown neighborhood.

tscritch
by Silver Member on Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:16 AM
2 moms liked this

 Art is subjective.

NWP
by guerrilla girl on Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:17 AM
1 mom liked this

This sculpture cost him his life....

Despite the controversies that attended his sculptures, Jiménez became widely recognized in his later years as one of America's most important sculptors. His various honors included an invitation to dinner at the White House with President George W. Bush, who reportedly admired his work. Jiménez showed up in a pair of red cowboy boots. .... Jiménez struggled to finish an enormous fiberglass-and-steel horse sculpture called Mustang that had been commissioned in 1992 by the city of Denver for its new airport; it was behind schedule and had been the subject of legal wrangling. On June 14, 2006, the sculpture slipped off a hoist and swung out of control, pinning Jiménez against a beam and severing a major artery. Twenty-eight miles from the nearest hospital, he died in the ambulance from the resultant blood loss. "To know Luis is to know that, for him, work was life," his estranged wife, Susan, told the Rocky Mountain News . "Someone said he couldn't have gone out any other way. This was the rearing Mustang; Luis died in battle, the battle of creating."


Neon Washable Paint

IhaveHisjoy
by Silver Member on Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:33 AM
2 moms liked this

 Great, Now I'll be singing..should I stay or should I go now..ALL DAY! Ok, back to look at topic.

survivorinohio
by René on Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:37 AM
2 moms liked this

I like the sculpture and it should stand as a memorial to the artist.

IhaveHisjoy
by Silver Member on Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:38 AM

 Yikes! I suppose those against would call that karma..I call it tragic.

I've seen it, I didn't have any thoughts on it..just, oh yah, there it is...

Quoting NWP:

This sculpture cost him his life....

Despite the controversies that attended his sculptures, Jiménez became widely recognized in his later years as one of America's most important sculptors.His various honors included an invitation to dinner at the White House with President George W. Bush, who reportedly admired his work. Jiménez showed up in a pair of red cowboy boots. .... Jiménez struggled to finish an enormous fiberglass-and-steel horse sculpture called Mustang that had been commissioned in 1992 by the city of Denver for its new airport; it was behind schedule and had been the subject of legal wrangling. On June 14, 2006, the sculpture slipped off a hoist and swung out of control, pinning Jiménez against a beam and severing a major artery. Twenty-eight miles from the nearest hospital, he died in the ambulance from the resultant blood loss. "To know Luis is to know that, for him, work was life," his estranged wife, Susan, told the Rocky Mountain News . "Someone said he couldn't have gone out any other way. This was the rearing Mustang; Luis died in battle, the battle of creating."


 

"Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone- except God"...Billy Graham
furbabymum
by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:40 AM

 It's weird. We fly out of that airport and I can tell you it's an ugly statue. They really could do better. It's just......

Euphoric
by Bazinga! on Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:40 AM

 This

Quoting survivorinohio:

I like the sculpture and it should stand as a memorial to the artist.

 

www.cafemom.com/group/116692
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN