Pure Plantainum

  • Miguel Luciano, Pure Plantainum, 2006, green plantain plated in platinum and velvet, Smithsonian American Art Museum, © 2006, Miguel Luciano, Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2012.50A-B

Exhibition Label
In Caribbean popular culture, plantains can signify maligned African ancestry, masculinity, and national sovereignty. Luciano observed that for Latino youth this icon functioned as a badge of pride that announces their cultural roots. His bejeweled object – which houses a decomposed plantain within – visualizes how symbols change through migration. By fashioning an object that looks like extravagant hip-hop jewelry, Luciano also calls attention to how Latinos continue to play a role in creating this thriving popular culture.

Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, 2013

Title
Pure Plantainum
Artist
Date
2006
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
approx. 12 x 3 x 3 in. (30.5 x 7.6 x 7.6 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment

Mediums
Mediums Description
green plantain plated in platinum and velvet
Classifications
Keywords
  • Object – fruit – plantain
Object Number
2012.50A-B
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More Artworks from the Collection

modeled 1844, carved after 1873
marble
modeled 1867
plaster
ca. 1870-1907
plaster