A Horse of a Different Color
[photopress:mustang.jpg,full,pp_image]Last May, my son Oliver and I went to Chicago together. It was the first time we’d been to the Denver International Airport since the big blue horse had been installed.
Have you seen the big blue horse? It’s actually a fiberglass sculpture by Luis Jiminez. Commissioned in 1992, it killed Jiminez in 2006 – part of it fell on him, injuring him fatally – and was finished by his sons.
Personally, the big blue horse is not my cup of tea – and it has nothing to do with my dubious view of the Broncos.
If the horse was made of metal or sculpted from rock, and perhaps a little less wild-eyed, I’d think it was a great monument to the West. But it’s blue – bright, cobalt blue – and not a little frightening. And while a rearing mustang is a fitting symbol of this city, the color of it (and the material too, honestly) don’t fit at all.
It’s not like the cows of CowParade, which are meant to be a humorous commentary. Found in cities all over the world, these cows are brightly painted in accordance with various themes. We’ve actually got quite a few here in Denver, and in fact, I swear there’s one in my little suburb.
Or else maybe someone’s just put a brightly painted cow out to pasture. Here’s hoping it doesn’t knock me over next time I go out biking. Now that would be a story, wouldn’t it?
Back to the big blue horse.
I realize that not everyone has the same taste in art, and that the artist who created this sculpture was exceptionally talented. This horse might be the perfect complement to another city. But here in the wild wild West, it just looks silly.
I also realize that I’m a transplant to Denver, and I’m not yet fully indoctrinated into the ways of the city.
But I like it here, and I think it’s a beautiful city with gorgeous scenery and so much to offer that would-be visitors haven’t yet discovered. I want them to land at our airport and be awed by the sweeping plains and snow-capped mountains and acres of clear blue sky. I don’t want them to gape at a big blue horse.
Worse yet, I don’t want them to laugh at us for choosing it as a symbol of our city.
What is your opinion of the blue horse at DIA?