Art at the Airport: ‘Vaquero’ pays tribute to the west

Mar 1, 2021 | Airport Amenities


Driving along the Terminal 1 entrance roadways, you’ve probably seen “Vaquero,” a sculpture by the late Mexican-American artist Luis Jiménez.

The sculpture was unveiled in 1990 and was one of the first pieces of public art installed at the airport. It pays tribute to the old west while connecting the cowboy, a classic symbol of America, to its Mexican origins. “Vaquero” is constructed of fiberglass, a material Jiménez used frequently.

Visitors to Washington, D.C., can also see the iconic sculpture — a version of “Vaquero” is on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Another Jiménez sculpture, “Blue Mustang,” greets travelers at Denver International Airport. Dubbed Blucifer by locals, it’s most well-known for its luminous red eyes deeply set into the head of the horse. It’s described as an all-seeing gatekeeper for those heading toward or away from Denver.

Tragically, Jiménez was unable to complete “Blue Mustang” himself. While he was working on the piece, a section of the 32-foot-tall, 9,000-pound sculpture fell on him, severing an artery in his leg. The wound was fatal and the sculpture had to be finished by those close to the artist.


Article Categories

Recent Press Releases

Recent Posts

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

* indicates required