Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Denver Says Neigh to Airport Mustang

Snow, mountains, and skiing come to mind when I think of Denver. I've never traveled there due to my lack of appreciation for winter sports, but I'm sure it's lovely for those who love to hit the slopes. And as a TravelZoo subscriber, you can't beat the airfare out there. Denver has become an increasingly popular place to visit and of my dear college roommates just left my girlfriends and I in the East Coast dust to head out there. So why not make a huge statement at the Denver International Airport, for those both coming and going?

Well they certainly had something in mind, for a long time in fact. A 32 Ft Metallic Blue Mustang greets the 28 million travelers at the Denver Airport each year. However, the bright blue face and fire engine red eyes make this mustang unlike your typical fairy tale unicorn you'd like to ride on. Viewed so unfriendly, many Denver residents and visitors have deemed it the Devil Horse or the Satan Stallion. So many Denver resident are turned off by Mustang, they've started a Facebook page petition (Called Bye Bye Blue Mustang), with over 7 thousand fans, to remove it from the airport, saying it isn't what they wish to be the first thing visitors see when they arrive.

If only it'd be so easy to remove it, as Mustang's history spans over 15 years. In 1992, the City of Denver commissioned Luis Jimenez, an award winning artist to create a 32 ft horse sculpture for $300,000 by 1996, to be displayed at the Airport. The City of Denver originally wanted a stampede of buffalo, but because of their near extinction, the plans were changed to a mustang, a wild horse to symbolize the West. The Mustang was an animal that provided long distance travel, similar to airplanes. After several legal battles over the location of Mustang, the sculpture was finally installed in 2008 after being completed by Jimenez's sons, Adan and Orion. Unfortunately, Jimenez did not live to see his Mustang amongst (as he put it), the purple mountain's majesty. Jimenez was killed when a section of the unfinished horse fell from a hoist at his Hondo, New Mexico, studio.

Jimenez has definitely left her legacy/mark in Denver. Although some are outraged, a city policy states that any petition to move the sculpture would not be considered until 2013, giving people a chance to become used to any public art. Either way, people care and they're engaged by this work of art. It's sparked conversation and is evoking feeling, which is what art is all about, isn't it?

Just close little Johnny's and Jane's eyes if they look out the window when you land in Denver. Who wants nightmares on a ski trip, right?

1 comment:

Jan said...

Transplanted to Dover from Oklahoma, Norman is my hometown and the University of Oklahoma was my school.

On Boyd Street, we have the Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art, where they've had to move their Jiminez evil horse due to controversy. It used to be on the northeast corner of University property.

Now, it is right in front of the museum but sadly, it faces the OU President's house across the street.

My sister, an OU employee & Norman resident, fancies herself an expert of fung shui and proclaims it very bad fung shui, indeed!

Great post, love the blog!!