Art, revolution and the ‘Golden Age of the Cuban Poster’

Luis Vega De Castro (b. 1944), Diques de Viet Nam, 1973. Silkscreen poster.

“During a period of profound and rapid social and political changes, the Cuban poster boldly documented and embodied the spirit and ideals of the Cuban revolution. ‘Thanks to those daring, inspired artists, an important part of the visual memory of Cubans is indelibly imprinted in their bold graphic designs,’ writes Leonardo Padura Fuentes in Mira Cuba: The Cuban Poster Art from 1959 (2014). ‘It had a dignity and an aesthetic standing that turned the utilitarian poster into a milestone of Cuban cultural history in the second half of the twentieth century.’ Offered as a single lot in our Latin American Art Online  sale (18-30 May), the 38 posters — or carteles —  in this collection were created between 1965 and 1973 by a handful of the genre’s most talented and innovative graphic artists, mostly to promote films, documentaries and other cinematographic events. Sponsored largely by the Instituto Cubano del Arte y la Industria Cinematográfica (ICAIC), the posters span subjects as diverse as education, culture and reproductive health, political marches and other overtly political or propagandist themes consistent with the objectives of the regime. During this ‘Golden Age of the Cuban Film Poster’, Cuban graphic artists pushed the boundaries of 20th-century design, despite working under increasingly stringent financial and political constraints. ‘Antonio Reboiro’s LBJ  poster (above) is a classic example of how Cuban graphic artists employed such Warholian and Pop Art devices as serialisation and repetition, as they strove to convey ideas about the power of mass media culture and the global preponderance of American culture,’ says Latin American Art specialist Marysol Nieves. ‘The repetition of LBJ’s face framed by a medieval knight’s helmet is intended as a satirical element, perhaps as reference to the American president’s involvement in conflicts at home as well as abroad.’ …”
[PDF] Cuban Propaganda Art: Posters of a Revolution
Psychedelia, Satire + Solidarity—Cuba’s Revolutionary Posters Showcase the Country’s “Golden Age” of Graphic Design
amazon: Mira Cuba: The Cuban Poster Art from 1959

“Cuba 1952,” 1973, by René Mederos Pazos

About 1960s: Days of Rage

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