Tuesday, 1 September 2015

For Sale: Day of Solidarity with the People of Laos - Zarza 1969

This poster, by Rafael Zarza, features an armed resistance fighter protected by Buddha. Buddhism is the dominant religion in Laos where the communist regime embraced the religon due to the massive numbers of the local population practising it. In 1969 when this poster was issued Laos was in the midst of a secret war with US-backed military activity pitched against a complicated mix of communist anti colonial Asian and local forces. The poster is typically Cuban and very colourful, once again using pop art and local symbols to highlight a very bloody military conflict.

This poster is for sale. See sidebar for details.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Yo Voy Estudiar Para Maestro - Mederos 1971

An absolute classic of Cuban poster design, this image by Rene Mederos is beautiful and very simple with only a few colours and very simple shapes to illustrate the young Cuban girl who plans to study to be a teacher. Working with silkscreen printing compelled the Cuban designers to use flat colours and simple shapes in their designs. And although this poster is offset printed it has the look of some of the best Cuban silkscreens. It was commissioned by Editora Politica.

Tricontinental Conference Fourth Anniversary - Rostgaard 1970

This simple and playful image by Alfredo Rostgaard uses the revolutionary fighter in three colours to represent the armed struggle for freedom among the three geographic areas represented by OSPAAAL (A, A, A = Asia, Africa and Latin America). The conference was designed to further the aims of a number of communist and socialist countries including Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and was an annual event in Havana.

Day of the Heroic Guerrilla - Martínez 1971

This OSPAAAL poster celebrates the Day of the Heroic Guerrilla, when Che Guevara is remembered in Cuba the day before the anniversary of his death on the 8th October. This simple black and white illustration by Olivio Martinez is nicely brightened by the stars and swirls of the orange motif to the right. Typically the image features Che's efforts as a revolutionary fighter in the jungles of Bolivia and elswhere which ultimately led to his downfall and capture. The iconography is typical of Cuban posters including the military dress, trusty Kalashnikov rifle and ammunition.

Solidarity with the People of Mozambique - Forjans 1969

Here is a typically vibrant and interesting design from Jesus Forjans using an African doll like figure to represent the traditional, historical nature of Mozambique and the superimposed weapon to symbolise the armed revolution that was going on in 1969. During the 60s and early 70s the country saw an uprising against the Portuguese colonial government by the guerrilla forces of the Mozambique Liberation Front, backed by communist and left leaning counties including Cuba.
Typical of Cuban designs this poster is simple and colourful, using a national symbol to identify the country in terms of its local history in defiance of the ideology of the Portugese-led government of the time. Forjans has used an unusual cartoon-style method for separating the purple and blue colours using psychedelic floral motifs (detail below), something that is often seen on Cuban silkscreen posters of the time.