Premier of Vincent Valdez | The Strangest Fruit

Posted by Ian on Oct 17, 2013 in news

I am happy to announce the opening of the premier of Vincent Valdez’s newest body of work, The Strangest Fruit (2013) which will be on display at the David Winton Bell Gallery until 8 December 2013.

The Strangest Fruit places realistic depictions of people known by the artist within an historical subject—the lynching of Latinos in Texas and the United States more broadly—metaphorically illustrating the persecution and oppression felt by contemporary Latinos in the United States. The series of large-scale, oil on canvas works the supposed throes and aftermath of a death by hanging. Slightly larger than life-size, the figures float, decontextualized, on a white background. The ropes that bind them are no longer visible, and the composition becomes an ambiguous scene between hanging and ascension.

Occurring over a period of nearly one hundred years between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries, the lynching of Latinos was often overlooked by mainstream American society, media and history. The events were recorded, however, in local community leaflets and in folk ballads (corridos). Here, Valdez presents a special installation of these new works as an attempt to reconcile his style of metaphorical realism with the unwritten histories of these lynchings and the ongoing struggles and injustices experienced by contemporary Latinos in the United States.