Both in his lithographic print and
in his sculpture, Luis Jiménez transformed the old
Mexican love story into an image reflecting the complex crossing
and intermixing of cultures in the southwest. He changed the
Aztec lovers into Native Americans and incorporated symbols
that cross the border.
The Southwest Pieta lithographic print
includes a literal depiction of the Popo and Ixta mountains
of the Valley of Mexico.
The overall volume of the fiberglass
sculpture suggests the form of a snow-capped mountain.
Ixta's hair streams like water to the
base of the mountain.
The nopal or prickly pear cactus is
still an important food source south of the border today.
The rattlesnake has religious significance
to Native Americans.
Jiménez has also included the
Maguey Mescal cactus, or agave, in his print and in his sculpture.
The local New Mexico Apaches are called Mescalleros because
they eat the bulb at the bottom of the cactus -- the same
bulb used in Mexico to make tequila.
The eagle landing on the cactus appears
in the Mexican flag. However the eagle of the Southwest Pieta
is not the brown-headed eagle of the Mexican flag but the
bald-eagle, emblem of the United States.