Friday, 01 February 2013 15:24

Don't kill the death horse

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Don’t kill the death horse!

The notorious evil blue mustang with the glowering red eyes that greets arrivers and departers to and from DIA is eligible for removal under Denver’s rules pertaining to public art. Some people actually want it gone.

I say don’t kill the death horse. It’s the most completely badass installation of all. It’s cooler than the Convention Center’s big blue bear, more memorable than the dancers on the grounds of the DCPA. It’s hauntingly beautiful, delightfully intimidating and distinctively “Denver”. In the five short years that it’s been mounted along Pena Boulevard it’s become part of our community’s rugged personality.

Besides, the death horse killed its own sculptor. What fate would we be tempting if we were to intentionally dislodge it? The ghost of Luis Jimenez would probably be really pissed off. DIA is an airport, for heaven’s sake. Safety is of the utmost importance. We cannot expose passengers to other-wordly scorn. The death horse can’t be nearly as scary as the curse of the death horse would be.

It’s been said that we should leave the horse but mute its fiery red eyes – that somebody should paint over them. Why not slap a Wahoo’s Fish Tacos decal over the Mona Lisa’s smile while you’re at it? These complainers are the same people who bitch about the 59’ Impala in your back yard, the dirty neighborhood Thai restaurant, bullying in schools and anything else you can't but at Costco.

Art is supposed to get your attention. The very fact that people either love or hate the death horse and his frightening glare is proof positive that it is doing its job standing out there between the traffic lanes. Nobody has ever seen it for the first time and had zero reaction. It invokes a feeling nearly every time two eyes land upon it. For some that feeling is dread, for others it’s exhilaration, either way it’s better than feeling nothing.

The death horse is just plain part of Denver now. Just like Casa Bonita, Confluence Park, Rocky Flats, Federal Boulevard and Elitch Gardens. It’s not perfect, but it belongs here. If you don't think so it's you who should be moved.


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