People with different viewpoints have
expressed very different opinions about the value of Luis
Jiménez' sculpture. So far two casts of the Southwest
Pieta have been installed in public spaces. Both met
with so much controversy that they each were ultimately installed
in sites different from the locations for which they were
Art curators are scholars who know
a great deal about certain kinds of art. Many are art historians.
They often work at museums. Among other things they select
and organize artworks for exhibitions.
Ellen J. Landis curated an exhibition
called Luis Jiménez': Man on Fire: Luis Jiménez:
El Hombre en Llamas at the Albuquerque Museum. In the exhibition
catalog she wrote:
"He pulls no punches.
The common response to his work is one of comparative adjectives:
larger than life, brighter, bolder, bigger."
For over a year, people with very different
viewpoints debated the meaning of the Southwest Pieta and
whether it should be installed in Old Town Albuquerque.
James Moore, the director of the Albuquerque
Museum, described the controversy in his community:
"Arguments raged over this commission
. Media attention
was intense; letters to the editor accumulated. Sides were
taken, lines were drawn, battles fought, and in the process
many things were learned about the multi-cultural make-up
of Albuquerque and in particular the unique complexities of
the Spanish-speaking community of New Mexico."
Lucy Lippard is a nationally-known
art critic and thinker who has written many books and articles
about a variety of types of art. She wrote:
"Because the sculpture was projected
for Old Town, the historic and tourist center of Albuquerque,
Jiménez focused on a Native American legend meaningful
to Mestizo Mexico, slyly commenting on the nature of Hispanic
class and identity in New Mexico."