Nicknamed “Blucifer” and “DIAblo,” The Mustang is a 32-foot-tall, neon blue sculpture of a raging steed that is currently located on a hill south of the airport along Pena Boulevard. It’s the first thing travelers see after the many miles of near empty prairie driving out to the airport, and the last thing new arrivals will witness before heading to the city.
El Mesteno is the latest piece of public art at the airport to explode into controversy, so this blog will have continuing posts on the beautifully frightening beast as time goes on. But here’s the quick and dirty back story:
- 1992. The DIA art committee granted New Mexican artist Luis Jiminez a $300,000 commission to create the sculpture, three years before the airport would finally open. Paid $165,000 upfront .
- Jiminez misses the original 1994 deadline for the work. A cornea transplant he’d gotten twenty years before had begun to deteriorate, and some people speculated that the piece would never be completed
- City grants Jiminez several extent ions, but the dates were never met with completion.
- 2003. The city files a lawsuit against Jimenez for the $165,000 it had paid up front, but agreed to drop the suit if the sculpture was finished by the end of the year. Sculpture not completed.
- June 13, 2006. Jiminez was by himself in his studio rushing to finish the nearly-completed Mustang. He was reportedly using a rope to hoist a section of the sculpture into place so it could be welded. The hoist broke and the piece fell on the 66-year-old, pinning him to the ground and slicing an artery in his leg. Jiminez died on his studio floor.
- In late 2007, the city was informed that Jiminez’s family was now working to complete the sculpture. It arrived in Denver in February 2008. The formal dedication ceremony was June 12, attended by several members of the City Council, Jiminez family and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. The sculpture is appraised at a value of $2 million.
- January 2009. A local realtor named Rachel Hultin starts a Facebook group called “”DIA’s Heinous Blue Mustang Has Got to Go,” and over a thousand people sign up as members. The debate over the Mustang exploded into a national news story, with many people calling the sculpture “a killer,” frightening and out of place. The city maintians it will not review moving the sculpture for several years.
- The sculpture becomes a subject of interest for ghost hunters and paranormal researchers examining the “haunted” claims.
- Holistic healers begin to wonder if the Mustang has connection to the Blue Star Kachina, a Hopi prophecy.
- Others say that the Mustang bears incredible resembalance to the horse witnessed by men unwillingly subjected to time travel travel experiments in the Montauk Project, aka The Philidelphia Experiment.