Las Vegas – For those keen on public art – the sculptures, land art and ephemeral street art, one object deserving attention is located on the grounds of the McCarran Airport. Find the Vaquero (Cowboy) Statue by sculptor Luis Alfonso Jiménez, Jr on the xeriscaped hill close to where the old airport used to be.
The brilliant Vaquero is hard to miss and easy to drive on by. Consult the Google map.
My personal connecting is fleeting. I first saw one of his works at the University of Texas and fell in love with the unabashed excess of color and motion. According to the Handbook of Texas Online: “His sculpture Vaquero pays homage to the fact that Mexican vaqueros were the forerunners of American cowboys.”
There are some signs of aging, splotches on the paint. Even in distress, the vaquero is a recommended-visit. Read more about the artist and this work in the Austin Chronicle feature Larger than Life.
Luis Alfonso Jiménez, Jr had a brash, eye-popping style and his work can also be seen in Austin, Texas and at the Denver Airport.
Questions for the Airport
Are there guided tours of the airport? Of the airport art?
What’s the most convenient parking to visit El Vaquero?
What’s the history of El Vaquero and why is it here?
Questions for everyone
What are you favorite, must-see public art installations in Las Vegas?
What Las Vegas must-sees would you add to a creative visual treasure hunt?
Have you seen any other sculptures by Luis Jimenez?
The vaquero is a horse-mounted livestock herder of a tradition that originated on the Iberian Peninsula. Today the vaquero is still a part of the doma vaquera, the Spanish tradition of working riding. – Wikipedia
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