Behold El Mesteno!

For the first and probably last time, a select group of citizens, politicians and members of the media got a chance this afternoon to get up close and personal with what is quite possibly the nation’s most terrifying piece of public art, "Mustang," by Luis Jimenez.

Since the 32-foot-tall fiberglass sculpture was installed in front of the main terminal at Denver International Airport in February, it has been shocking tourists and locals alike when they spot the bright-blue beast from Pena Boulevard. Even more stunning is its backstory, which, if you haven’t heard by now, you'd better catch up on some reading. Corporate-plaza art it is not, as the pictures after the jump will attest.

Today was the official dedication ceremony organized by the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs, who bused in attendees from a distant parking lot to a tent erected near the Mustang’s huge hooves. On hand were members of Jimenez’s family, including his daughter Elisa, just off a stint on Project Runway. In a speech, Mayor Hickenlooper praised the Mustang’s dynamic paint job, which he said gave the piece the “sensibility of lowriders.” He also mused about the glowing red eyes of the horse, an effect that some cultures believe could work to “ward off evil spirits – a good thing to have at an airport.”

“At first I thought [the Mustang] was snarling,” Denver City Councilwoman Carla Madison said to her colleague, council president Michael Hancock. “Now I think he actually looks like he’s laughing at us.”

Statements such as these should settle fears that the sculpture’s curse will be an evil one. Perhaps, like the gargoyle in the suitcase sculpture that graces the main terminal building, the spirit of Jimenez will protect Denver travelers. So rather than feeling terror while speeding past the Mustang, we should feel a sense of security. The Mustang is not a cursed figure, it’s a talisman, an entity to leave your fears before the uncertainty of flight. Just a thought. Either way, check out the pictures of the Mustang’s amazing details, such as the black veins and frightening anus. Correction: comforting anus. –Jared Jacang Maher

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Jared Jacang Maher