modeled 1980/cast 1990
Luis Jimenez began making monumental sculptures in the midst of the Latino civil rights movement. He dedicated himself to contemporary subjects that represented a racially diverse and working class America. Vaquero, which means cowboy in Spanish, is one of his most celebrated works.
Jimenez's Vaquero depicts an anonymous Mexican American cowboy in colorful and glossy fiberglass, a material often associated with low riders and hot rods. Jimenez intentionally titled his sculpture Vaquero to emphasize the Spanish and Mexican roots of this classic American icon. "Spaniards brought cattle and horses [to North America]," the artist once stated, "and Mexicans developed the whole notion of being cowboys." The artist thought it was especially fitting that Vaquero came to permanently reside in the nation's capital, a city known for its abundant equestrian public sculpture.