Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Luis Jimenez y placita de los lagartos

Luis Jimenez, artist extraordinaire and native El Pasoan from Segundo Barrio, passed away yesterday at 65. This is very sad news.

Here's a photo I took of his lagarto sculpture in the placita de los lagartos in downtown El Paso on April 10, 2006 after a march and during a rally for immigrant rights... this is how I like to remember his art, surrounded by people and for the people. This sculpture commemorates the live alligators that used to be on display in the park. Many people still tell stories about the live alligators, including my relatives. The sculpture brings generations together, triggers our imaginations. The stories begin with lagartos and lead elsewhere. The marchers reach the lagartos and lead elsewhere. An amazing work of art among many, many more works that he created throughout his lifetime.

Another march for immigrant rights, May 1, 2006, that began in the Chamizal and passed by the international bridge before making a U-turn back west to los lagartos:


Sheryl said...

Hi Emmy,
Do you know if the alligator(s) were really shot by a drunk soldier. I think I read something like this in one of Ben's stories. I'm just curious about whether or not you've heard that story. It seems like interesting fodder for an entire short story. Just curious. I wonder if there are any inscriptions on that sculpture.
You blog is awesome.

Emmy said...

Hi Sheryl,
I'm not sure, but I have heard that they were removed due to abuse of some sort in the 60's or 70's. I'll try to find out. I love how Jimenez's sculpture has them emerging, as if emerging from creation. His lagartos are strong, spiritual creatures. I remember I started writing a poem about them a few years ago... hmmm... need to find that notebook. Jimenez must have observed them a lot because he depicts them with such intense beauty.

I'm glad we're keeping in touch in bloglandia and thru your hometown.