San Antonio Chicano artist Adan Hernandez, known for paintings in Blood In Blood Out, has died

click to enlarge Adan Hernanez holds up one of his paintings in a photo shared on a GoFundMe account set up to cover his funeral expanses. - GoFundMe / Armando Hernandez
GoFundMe / Armando Hernandez
Adan Hernanez holds up one of his paintings in a photo shared on a GoFundMe account set up to cover his funeral expanses.
Adan Hernandez, the San Antonio artist behind the paintings used in the beloved 1993 crime film Blood In Blood Out, has died.

A significant figure in San Antonio's Chicano art movement, Hernandez passed away Saturday of undisclosed causes at his Alamo City home, online news site MySA reports. He was 69.

While the West Side native has work in important collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and that of actor Cheech Marin, many know him best for the art he created for Blood In Blood Out.

Hernandez's paintings were used to represent creations of San Antonio-based actor Jesse Borrego's character, Cruz Candelaria, a lead character in the epic drama that tracks the lives of three Chicano relatives. Hernandez also landed a bit part in the film as the drug dealer Gilbert.

"I would say my artwork is sacred to me and mi gente because it comes from a people who have suffered brutal hardships," Hernandez told the Current in 2015. "That this art has been pummeled to the ground in hopes that it would just go away by a racist regime, which is our institutions. This art stands for something significant in the American experience."

Blood In's Borrego told MySA that Hernandez, whom he'd come to regard as "family," completed 50 paintings for the movie in just a month's time. The actor added that he's working with the San Antonio art community to create a foundation in his friend's honor.

"That's the beauty of being an artist, that when you're gone, your work is going to live on after you," Borrego told the news site. "In that case, I'm honored to share the screen with his work and with him. That vato loco's art is going to live forever. Vato loco art is forever."

Borrego suggested that fans of Hernandez's work and the film donate to a GoFundMe account set up in to pay for funeral expenses. As of press time, the fundraiser has generated nearly $5,500.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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