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Political Prisoner

1976 Rupert García Born: French Camp, California 1941 pastel on paper sheet: 48 x 36 in. (122.0 x 91.5 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Rupert García and Sammi Madison-García © 1976, Rupert García 1978.107 Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

In 1975, García, who was a Vietnam veteran, was drawn to a Newsweek cover story about the arrival of Vietnamese refugees in the United States. To create this pastel, García focused on one figure in the picture: a young woman who wails with closed eyes. He isolated and enlarged her face, placed a gag over her mouth, and situated her in a sea of radiating blue. Garcia’s compelling image invites viewers to confront the injustices of our day.

Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, 2013


Figure female - head

State of being - evil - imprisonment


crayon - pastel

paper - wove paper