denver: last frontier of…unusual sculptures?

As I’ve mentioned a few hundred times on this blog, I’m from Denver. I’m pretty obsessed with my hometown and am quick to brag about it. Until recently, and besides Tom Tancredo, there wasn’t much about Denver that I was ashamed of. 

Then last year, “Blue Mustang” made its way to the entrance to Denver International Airport. If you’ve ever flown into or out of DIA, you’ll remember this mustang, although you may only remember its “I-will-eat-your-soul” red-eyed death stare:

In that picture, it may just look ugly, but take my word for it: those eyes are downright terrifying when it’s pitch black outside and you’re on your way to a 5 a.m. flight.

As if the basic aesthetics of the mustang weren’t bad enough, there’s a horror story behind the making of it. The artist DIED when the mustang’s TORSO fackin’ FELL ON HIM:

Haters of this work say that “Blue Mustang,” as it is formally known, by the artist Luis Jiménez (killed in 2006 when a section of the 9,000-pound fiberglass statue fell on him during construction), is frightening, or cursed by its role in Mr. Jiménez’s death, or both. [NYTimes]

That mustang is a murderer! It’s even spawned a Facebook group supporting its removal. I mean sure, you could argue that the sculpture gets people talking, and that it’s bold. But in a city that’s not exactly, er, known for its art, do we really want this to be what people associate with Denver? (Not to mention one of the first or last things they see in the city.) I’d much rather my beloved Mile High City be known for one of its less creepy — but equally wacky and conversation-starting — sculptures. Here’s “Dancers,” which sits outside our Performing Arts Complex:

And my personal favorite, titled “I See What You Mean,” which is outside the Convention Center:

So, dear readers, what do you think?

[Posted by Mallory]

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4 Comments

Filed under animals, dance, the arts, thoughts, weird

4 responses to “denver: last frontier of…unusual sculptures?

  1. i sort of feel like the dancers sculpture was inspired by a picture of us dancing together. tall? check. lanky? check. somewhat awkward? check.

  2. d'Zhuoy

    As a New Yorker who lived in Denver caring for my mom for four months, I have to agree with you about that hideous “sculpture.” I went to DIA at least once a week for incoming and departing family members; every time I saw that horse I thought of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

    I had no idea the artist was crushed by his own work, literally. With all due respect to the dead, I think that tragedy should have raised a big red — er, blue — flag about that monstrosity. ‘Tis remorseless.

  3. Reg Smith

    I think Luis Jimenez has done more for Denver than anyone wants to give him credit for. I particularly liked the design of the airport building structures in the background. The ‘Dancers’ is OK and ‘I see what you mean’ is cute. None of these has ever had cause to come to my attention before. Controversy is good. I kept hearing about how terribly anatomically correct this statue was. From most pictures I have seen this is not visible. From a picture that finally showed ‘all’ I chuckled that so much was made out of so little. I expected to see some garish disgusting image. To the contrary this is just an anatomically correct male horse. I wonder what the locals in the 1500’s thought of Michelangelo’s ‘David’? I would have to see the 5am glaring red eyes in person to make comment on that. I think the city made a tremendous investment. I have never heard too much about Denver. Since this furor piqued my interest I have tripped across many things in Denver that I would like to visit to see. The Blue Mustang being first on my list. I don’t believe the city could have spent their tourism dollars any better than commissioning the Blue Mustang. Love it or hate it many people will want to see it so that they can trash it or rave about it. This all means tourism dollars for Denver. I would bet the return on the investment will be enormous for Dallas in terms of tourism alone. As for Luis. If it is possible to view from the grave he must be beaming with pride and grinning from ear to ear. He has created a piece of art that has caused such controvesy that the discussion is not only hot in the local community but nationally and internationally. That is a real kudo for any artist. A tip of the hat to Luis Jimenez. I believe he has added a crown jewel to his legacy. Reg, Ottawa, Canada.

  4. Reg Smith

    Sorry, I meant to say ‘I would bet the return on the investment will be enormous for Denver’ not Dallas as printed.

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