Beginning October 18 at the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University, San Antonio-based artist Vincent Valdez will exhibit his most recent body of work titled The Strangest Fruit. The oil based paintings in the series depicts Latinos known by the artist in the supposed aftermath of a death by hanging. The lynchings of Latinos in the United States during the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth century was largely ignored by the majority of American citizens and the U.S. Government. Valdez's series is an attempt to call attention to these events and also voices the oppression still felt by contemporary Latinos in the United States.
In the paintings, the figures, slightly larger than life size, seemingly float in the space and the ropes are no longer visible. With the depictions of a lynching removed, the figures take on the role of ascension. Included with the paintings, Valdez has incorporated text that details the history of Latino lynchings. In addition, Valdez has placed on the walls Abel Meeropol's poem The Strangest Fruit which took on the form of a protest song in the mid-to-late 1930s which exposed the racism being directed towards African Americans.
The gallery will host a symposium on Friday October 18 from 3:30 to 6:30 pm with an artist lecture at the conclusion. The exhibitions will continue until December 8. The David Winton Bell Gallery is free and open to the public. Visit their website to learn about their hours, location, and past exhibitions.
Continuing its long-standing relationship with the David Winton Bell Gallery, Malcolm Grear Designers created the invitations, installation graphics, catalogues, exterior sign, and banners for the exhibitions.