Feb 11

Graphic Influences II

Left image from No One Is Illegal – Toronto, center by the wonderful Favianna Rodriguez, right image (original) of Chicanas at a protest rally in Los Angeles in the mid-1970s, taken by Raul Ruiz for La Raza magazine, found in Chicana Feminist Thought: The Basic Historical Writings, edited by Alma M. García (1997)

Left and center image from Favianna Rodriguez, right image The Tobacco Harvest Awaits Your Youthful Hand (1983) by Juan A. Gomez in Revolucion! Cuban Poster Art (2003) by Lincoln Cushing

Left image by Blackness Yes!, right image of Tommie Smith and John Carlos at 1968 Summer Olympics

Wasun’s album cover for What Must Be Done (2005) and poster by Lazaro Abreu (1968) with original illustration by Emory Douglas, captured by Lincoln Cushing

This second edition of graphic influences (my first post on this blog) touches on two themes.

The first is the migration and evolution of images over time: from Cuba to Oakland; and from 1970s Los Angeles to present-day Toronto by way of Oakland.

The second theme is African Liberation Month, as celebrated by our embattled community radio station CKLN. The last two sets show how the imagery of black power movements continue to inform and inspire organizing today within hip hop and queer communities.

Jul 10

Graphic Influences

I love going through books on political posters. It’s especially gratifying to make connections between past and present moments and movements. I pulled three examples from Political Posters in Central and Eastern Europe 1945-1995 by James Aulich and Marta Sylvestrova, which I picked up from the UofT Library.

The image above is a Polish May Day poster produced in 1977 by Maciej Ubaniec. The image below, produced by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, integrates the Polish image to represent a housing squat in Toronto. As part of their extraordinary history of organizing against poverty and injustice, OCAP has always produced amazing visuals and thankfully they have put together an archive on their website.

This side-by-side comparison shows the original image, Victor Koretsky’s We need peace! (1950), that influenced this cover designed by Noaman Ali for the 2006 Arts and Science Students’ Union Anti-Calendar, a student-run review of courses. The likenesses of university administrators are substituted for the original figures seated around the table, with a student – or student-worker – replacing the worker in the original.

Finally, I admit it’s not bang-on, but the style and colours in this strip of images by Alexander Vasilovich Vorona, particularly the first two, reminded me of Shepard Fairey and his appropriation of political graphics for his own corporate re-branding exercises.