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A Cuban Take

By Matthew Robb

Published Oct 25, 2016 8:00 AM

The Black with a Drop of Red exhibition showcases Cuban interpretation through poster designs.


Julio Eloy Mesa, “Clandestinos” (Living Dangerously), 1987, and Roberto Ramos, “Rebelde sin causa” (Rebel without a Cause), 2009. Courtesy of the Fowler Museum at UCLA.

A new exhibition at the Fowler Museum at UCLA showcases the striking and influential work of Cuban graphic designers. Black with a Drop of Red: Contemporary Cuban Poster Work includes 29 posters and prints from a range of Cuban designers and is on view in the Fowler’s Goldenberg Galleria until Jan. 22, 2017.

Carefully chosen by Claudio Sotolongo, a designer and a professor based in Havana, the images reflect on Cuba’s fascination with cinema as well as its internal and external political struggles.

Whether advertising a popular film, a documentary honoring a cultural hero, or announcing a community event, the posters included in Black with a Drop of Red illustrate the visual persuasiveness of the genre. Using silkscreen printing techniques, the 16 designers demonstrate the continued allure and influence of poster work in contemporary Cuba.

While similar examples produced in the United States often emphasize celebrity close-ups or dramatic moments as a way of enticing visitors and fans, Cuban posters often embrace a different, more eclectic aesthetic that emphasizes the power of distilled imagery to convey the essence of an entire film or an event.

The artists represented in the exhibition are René Azcuy, Ingrid Behety, Julio Eloy Mesa, Ernesto Ferrand, Gabriel Lara (Gabo), Yaimel López, Mamey estudio de diseño, Pepe Menéndez, Giselle Monzón, Tinti Nodarse, Nelson Ponce, Roberto Ramos, Edel Rodríguez (Mola), Eric Silva, Claudio Sotolongo, and Raúl Valdés (Raupa).

To view the original article from the UCLA Newsroom visit http://ucla.in/2dKHjix.