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About the Artist
Luis Jimenez was born in El Paso, Texas in 1940. The son of an illegal Mexican immigrant, he created his art with the working class Chicano community in mind, a population he felt was his primary audience.
Growing up, he worked in his father's neon sign shop among friends who customized low-rider cars in their spare time.
When he became an art student at the University of Texas, Austin in the early 1960's, the material he gravitated toward was fiberglass. The choice, he says, was "unavoidable," though the material was used only in commercial applications at the time. He learned techniques previously used to make airplane fuselages, racecar bodies, and carnival figurines.
By the late 1960's, he was making large-scale figurative pieces, which, since the 1970's, have focused increasingly on culturally relevant, politicized themes of the Southwestern, Mexican-American working class. As a result, his work has often created contentious public debate.
He completed over 20 public commissions, participated in more than 75 solo exhibitions, and has pieces in the collections of numerous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, in New York, as well as in the National Gallery in Washington.