Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Poster of the Week

Support the U.F.W.A. International Boycott
Ricardo Favela
Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF)
Silkscreen, 1976
Sacramento, CA

José Montoya, poet, muralist, printmaker, musician and teacher died last week at 81. He taught at California State University, Sacramento for 27 years and served as Poet Laureate of Sacramento from 2002 to 2004.  In 1969, José and other activists, artists, poets and students (including Esteban Villa, Juanishi Orosco, Ricardo Favela, Armando R. Cid, Eva Garcia, Lorraine García-Nakata, Juan Cervantes, and Joe Serna, Jr.) co-founded the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF).  Initially named Rebel Chicano Art Front, they changed their name in response to confusion caused by having the same initials as the Royal Canadian Air Force.  The RCAF was noted for their outrageous humor, and built upon the Royal Canadian Air Force connection by dressing as WWII pilots—as in the above poster of the week—and claiming to fly adobe airplanes.   
RCAF was one of the earliest and most influential of the Chicano art collectives.  Based in Sacramento, the RCAF advocated for Chicano civil rights and the United Farm Workers.  They often brought silkscreen equipment right into the fields, producing posters on site.
CSPG’s Poster of the Week was done by RCAF co-founder Ricardo Favela.  Four members of the RCAF, dressed in WWII bomber jackets, are doing creative boycotting in front of a Safeway Market, targeted by the United Farm Workers for selling non union grapes and lettuce.  After the photo was taken they accidentally entered a parade—where they won 2nd prize for the best float!
The Center for the Study of Political Graphics is honored to have more than 60 RCAF silkscreens in the archive, and will continue to exhibit these powerful graphics to future generations.  José Montoya’s work will continue to inspire.

José Montoya


To see an interview with José Montoya:

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