"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Luis Jiménez

This 2003 airbrushed acrylic painting of Luis Jiménez (1940-2006) by Gaspar Enrique hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
“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, Jimenez 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 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, Jimenez 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 19605, where the art world took notice of his talent.

Chicano portraitist Gaspar Enriquez, a friend of Jimenez, made this diptych a few years before Jimenez died in a studio accident.”  -- National Portrait Gallery

Corazón de Luis

“This ceramic heart is integral to Gaspar Enrequez's portrayal of his friend Luis Jimenez. Forming a diptych, the acrylic airbrushed likeness Luis Jimenez and El Corazón de Luis (The Heart of Luis), are meant to be shown together. At the center of the heart, one can see an image of Jimenez's iconic Vaquero.

The raised lines on the heart's surface occurred by accident, specifically from wet paint reacting to heat. Upon recognizing the similarities between the lines and the veins of a heart, the artist embraced this chance event as part of the process. (Enriquez recently made this heart to replace the original one, which was damaged.” -- NPG

The reflection in Jiménez' glasses is his 1995 sculpture, Sodbusters: San Isidro.

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