Saturday, February 14, 2009

Group Strives to have Luis Jimenez Sculpture Removed: Bye, Bye Blue Mustang?

Luis Jimenez's 'Blue Mustang' (AP Photo)

Blue Mustang has been deemed an eye sore by Rachel Hultin-- a real estate developer in Denver. The 32-foot sculpture of a wild mustang was the final work of artist Luis Jimenez. In fact, it was finished by his sons after Jimenez was killed during a studio accident involving the sculpture in 2006. The finished sculpture was installed at the Denver International Airport in 2008. Though commissioned the fiberglass sculpture is considered by many to be a tribute to Jimenez’s career and passion for art. However, there are some individuals who do not see Blue Mustang in the same light.

Articles in the Denver Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Ruidoso News report on a petition that has been circulating due to individuals who desire to see Blue Mustang removed. Rachel Hultin is the spearhead of the petition-- having created a Facebook page, Bye Bye Blue Mustang, in order to rally support for the removal of the sculpture. It has been stated that Hultin would like to see Blue Mustang dismantled or moved to a less prominent location.

Hultin and her supporters view the sculpture as “fiendish” and “heinous”. However, their appreciation -- or should I say lack thereof -- of Blue Mustang does not position well with what Jimenez intended the sculpture to represent. After all, Jimenez desired for Blue Mustang to represent the spirit of Denver-- a vision that is supported by airport officials and the director of the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs. In fact, Erin Trapp-- the director-- has stated that the sculpture will not be able to be removed until 2013 due to a city policy that protects commissioned installations like Blue Mustang.

The sculpture was commissioned in 1992. Luis Jimenez was allocated $300,000 in funding. However, the cost of creating and stalling the controversial sculpture doubled before it was unveiled to the public in 2008. It was finished by the artists sons-- Adan and Orion Jimenez. Needless to say, Rachel Hultin and her supporters may try to press on the issue regardless of city policy.

Consider this an open debate about public commissioned art. Should citizens have a stronger voice in how their money is spent? Should the public be allowed to vote for or against commissions that are intended to reflect the values of their city or state? Do you see art funding of this nature wasteful? Or vital? Should Blue Mustang have extra protection due to the tragic death of Luis Jimenez? What are your thoughts?

Links of Interest:

Sculpture that killed artist controversial -- Ruidoso News

Denver Airport's Blue Mustang Draws Wild Reaction,2933,489766,00.html

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin
Senior Editor
New York Art Exchange
London Calling


Donald Frazell said...

For one thing, artists dont matter, art does. Any tribute to this guy should be on his gravesite, and has nothing to do with this subject. This glorification of the individual is what has lead to our economic and artistic demise.

It is pretty hideous, and a waste of money, but moving it would just further that waste. The elected officials were behind this, vote them out if you want to. If it got done through all the layers of bureacracy to get there, I think the ten year waiting period is good. Allows folks to catch up with a new work. But often, the public is right. Seldom about real art right away, but most public installations are garbage, and this will never end up being an Eifel Tower, which was hated when it first went up. This is attricous, and at first thought it was at Boise St. Mustang, who has a hideous blue football field, i know kids playing on the team, and would be oK at a college like that. But really bad at an airport.

Already been too much waste of energy and materials and funds over a plastic horse. Let it be, and if hated when its time is up, just tear it down and recycle it. Dont waste time and money moving it, unless someone wants to buy it. Tributes to artists are absurd, we are not better or worse than anyone else. His work is his epitaph, and his is not a pretty one. Who cares about "loving" art. Most who do truly only love themselves. No real artist would come up with such a limited concept and hoprrible execution, a real one would hang oneself first.

art colegia delenda est

Joseph Bolstad said...

I'm sure there are loads of kids who think that Mustang is awesome and would hate to see it torn down.

Gringo said...

Donald, isn't the beauty of art subjective? I find the piece very beautiful, but denver soccer moms seem to be worried about devils and such... which seems like a pretty lame excuse to remove this statue...

Anonymous said...

Donald Frazell is right that no public art should become an epitaph when it was commissioned to represent the "Spirit of Denver." Once the artist died they should respect the integrity of the work. As far as his sons finishing the work, there are many other accounts that fabricators administrated by DIA and The Luis Jimenez Personal Representative completed it. All of the working drawings and Marquette designed by Luis Jimenez depict a specific mustang that is an Appaloosa Stallion. The completed version is a rudimentary rendition of what Jimenez envisioned. - Guess the Public can tell when something is a miss.