Luis Jimenez: Sodbuster
JANUARY 21 - APRIL 19, 2015
The son of an accomplished neon-sign designer and grandson of a glassblower in Mexico,
Luis Jiménez, became skilled in painting, welding and working with fiberglass while apprenticing at his
father’s shop in the predominately Hispanic neighborhood of Segundo Barrio in El Paso, Texas.
Throughout his distinguished 40-year career, Jiménez’s work and subject matter has both
garnered widespread praise and sparked controversy.
Sodbuster’s themes derive from Mexican American and Native American cultures, the intersection of high and low art, and the celebration of humanity itself. Jiménez pays tribute to the Mexican farmworkers and laborers who toiled in the Great Plains, developing America’s agricultural industry. The sculpture acknowledges the work ethic of Fargo’s Lutheran community while paying homage to the patron saint of farmers, Saint Isidore, beloved throughout Latin America. Jiménez compares his art to that of the santeros, the artisans of carved and painted saints in New Mexico and southern Colorado who have been working since the 1700s. He intentionally stylizes his images like the santeros, as he says, “to exaggerate certain characteristics.” For him, Sodbuster is the ideal example: “His muscles bulge, his veins pop out. Sweat beads on his forehead allude to the blood beads on the face of God. The beard is beaded, simplified.”