Luis Jiménez, a first-generation American, was born in El Paso, Texas. He studied and worked most of his life in the southwest region of the United States where he was born and raised. He described his roots as being partly in Mexico and partly in Texas. This Chicano experience and perspective had tremendous impact on his art. Jiménez’s early training in art started when he was six, working in his father’s sign shop. Studying architecture at the University of Texas in Austin, he lived for a short period in Mexico and New York, but eventually settled in the southwest from 1970 to the day he died.
He is most widely known for his large scale fiberglass sculptures, where he took a medium most closely associated with cars and appropriated it for “fine art” purposes. Combining the pop medium of fiberglass with more traditional southwest themes, Jiménez brought Native American, Chicano, and Mexican figures into the traditional art setting.
His work was celebrated in many exhibitions, including a 1994 major retrospective at the National Museum of American Art . He also received prestigious grants from the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and is the collection of Arizona State University, Nelson Fine Arts Center Tempe, Arizona, Art Museum of Southeast Texas Beaumont, Texas, Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, TheChazen Museum of Art, Madison, Wisconsin, El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, Iowa State University, Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California, New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Plains Art Museum, Fargo, North Dakota, Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell, New Mexico, Saint Louis University, St. Louis University Museum of Art, Saint Louis, Missouri, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.