Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Poster of the Week

Xavier Viramontes
“Boycott Grapes”
1973, offset printing

“At the time I made this poster, in the 1970s, I was working with Rene Yanez, director of the Galeria de la Raza of San Francisco. Rene suggested that I do something for the United Farm Workers Union and the grape boycott, which had been ongoing for years. My idea was to remind people that the Mexican farm workers come from a rich cultural background and ought to be treated fairly and with respect. I decided to use a dark brown Aztec godlike figure as the main focal point. The squeezing of the grapes symbolizes the blood and sweat of the farm workers. The intent of the poster was to keep the boycott going, and I think it was successful. It received favorable response from the public and people continue to ask me about it today. Originally a silkscreen, the poster was later reproduced as a lithograph by the United Farm Workers Union. The Boycott Grapes poster was printed in 1973 and is now part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., and the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.”

Artwork © 2007 Xavier Viramontes

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