It was announced recently that the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio has acquired a painting by San Antonio artist Vincent Valdez. The piece, titled The Strangest Fruit 9, from 2013, depicts the museum’s chief preparator, Ruben Luna, and his brother, curator and artist Rigoberto Luna, as if they are hanging back-to-back from a noose. The work takes its title from a 1937 poem by Abel Meeropool that addresses the hanging of black Americans. For this painting and series, Valdez adapted the poem to reference the lynchings of Mexicans and Mexican Americans that happened in this state in the 1800s and early 1900s.
The museum’s director, Richard Aste, had this to say about Valdez’s painting:
“It’s a rare yet powerful moment when a work of art comes our way that is equally beautiful and political. Vincent’s iconic The Strangest Fruit series does both, and well. He reminds us here that it’s not an either/or situation; there’s room for both in today’s art museums. The McNay is the perfect home for this arresting tour de force.”
For more on the McNay’s new acquisition, watch the video below.