Southwest Pietà, the colossal sculpture placed in the plaza just east of the ASU Art Museum
Jimenez defines the piece in his own words:
“The archetypal image is based on the popular Mexican myth of the origin of the two volcanoes Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl in the Valley of Mexico. It’s a Romeo and Juliet story of two lovers turned into volcanoes by the gods: The active one is the grieving man, the dead woman is the dormant one.
While the image has its origins in Mexico, it is the most common image, along with the Virgin of Guadalupe, and can be seen on low-rider vans and on restaurant and barrio murals.
The elements that are usually depicted with it also have iconographic value in the Southwest and continue to be important to the native community: the woman as a mountain, the rattlesnake, the prickly pear, and the mescal or maguey cactus.”
— From the dedication of Southwest Pietà, Arizona State University, May 12, 1994.
Luis Alfonso Jimenez, Jr. (1940-2006) was born in El Paso, Texas, and died in his studio in Hondo, New Mexico.
August 16, 2007, DENVER — A 32-foot sculpture of a rearing horse that friends say acclaimed artist Luis Jimenez was working on when a piece fell and killed him is being completed and could be installed at Denver International Airport by the end of this year…..
Airport spokesman Steve Snyder said Jimenez’s family worked to finish the fiberglass structure, though it was unclear whether family members did the work themselves or hired another artist.
“We’re in final negotiations right now with the family to try to get it here,” Snyder said. “We think it should be here by the end of the year.”
The Mustang was commissioned in 1992 at a cost of $300,000. Over the years, there had been several arguments and lawsuits over the pace of the work. In June 2006, Jimenez died at his Hondo, N.M., studio when a section of the sculpture came loose from a hoist and pinned him against a steel support beam. He was 65…..