Luis Jiménez

image for Luis Jiménez
Title
El Corazón de Luis
Exhibition Label
Born El Paso, Texas
Luis Jiménez’s large-scale fiberglass sculptures of mustangs, dancers, and howling coyotes have become familiar sights in public spaces across the United States. An internationally recognized artist, Jiménez put his stamp on Pop art by infusing his playful critique of American society with the history and myths of his native Southwest. His blazing Vaquero, installed just outside this building, offers a reinvention of equestrian sculpture that draws attention to the Hispanic origins of the American cowboy. The sculpture has been a signature work of the Smithsonian since it was acquired in the 1980s.
Born in the U.S.-Mexico borderland in Texas, Jiménez learned how to spray paint and weld while working at his father’s neon shop. Without formal training, he moved to New York City in the 1960s, where the art world took notice of his talent.
Chicano portraitist Gaspar Enríquez, a friend of Jiménez, made this diptych a few years before Jiménez died in a studio accident.
Nacido en El Paso, Texas
Las gigantescas esculturas en fibra de vidrio de Luis Jiménez, que representan caballos, bailarines y coyotes aulladores, se han vuelto imágenes familiares en los espacios públicos de Estados Unidos. Jiménez, artista de fama internacional, dejó su huella en el arte pop con su crítica lúdica de la sociedad estadounidense, en la que introdujo la historia y los mitos de la región suroeste del país, donde nació. Su espectacular Vaquero, instalado a la entrada de este edificio, nos ofrece una reinvención de la escultura ecuestre que pone de relieve el origen hispano del cowboy norteamericano. Esta escultura ha sido una obra distintiva del Smithsonian desde su adquisición en la década de 1980.
Nacido en Texas, en la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México, Jiménez aprendió a pintar con aerosol y a soldar trabajando en el taller de letreros de neón de su padre. Sin instrucción formal, se mudó a la ciudad de Nueva York en la década de 1960, donde su talento llamó la atención del mundo del arte.
El retratista chicano Gaspar Enríquez, amigo de Jiménez, realizó este díptico pocos años antes de la muerte de este, a causa de un accidente en el estudio.
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; donated from the collection of Jerry and Michelle Wright (El Paso, Texas) December 1st, 2016
Restrictions & Rights
© 2003 Gaspar Enriquez
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
2003
Object number
NPG.2016.144.1
Type
Painting
Culture
Luis Jiménez: American\Hispanic American\Mexican American
Luis Jiménez: Latino
Artist
Gaspar Enríquez, born 1942
Sitter
Luis Jiménez, 30 Jul 1940 - 13 Jun 2006
Topic
Costume\Headgear\Hat
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
Indeterminable
Luis Jiménez: Visual Arts\Artist
Luis Jiménez: Male
Luis Jiménez: Visual Arts\Artist\Sculptor
Portrait
Place
United States\Texas\El Paso\San Elizario
Medium
Airbrushed acrylic paint on paper
Dimensions
Image: 104.5 × 74 cm (41 1/8 × 29 1/8")
Frame: 122.2 × 91.4 × 7 cm (48 1/8 × 36 × 2 3/4")
National Portrait Gallery