Despite his extraordinary artistic talent, Jiménez, the Texas-born son of a Mexican signmaker, never had a particularly easy time in life. But from the beginning, his art was potent and rough around the edges. He worked with industrial materials, including neon tubing, automotive paint, scrap metal, and fiberglass, as a young man. After completing his studies at the University of Texas and in Mexico City, he moved to New York, where his bold, eye-catching work caught the eye of the famed Italian-American art dealer Leo Castelli. Although Jiménez put on his first solo show in New York in the mid-sixties, and was met with critical acclaim during the handful of years that he lived and worked there, the artist was ultimately drawn back to his Southwestern roots by 1971.