Artists Favianna Rodriguez, Jesus Barraza, and Melanie Cervantes carry on the traditions of Latino screenprinters such as Rupert Garcia and Malaquias Montoya with their politically charged posters, which are often distributed for free during marches and demonstrations. The three can be found making screen-printed political posters in Rodriguez's small backyard studio in Oakland. Their provocative and lively prints are also distributed to nonprofits and grassroots organizations, with themes such as anti-war, police brutality, and immigration. One of their latest commissions was a poster for the US Social Forum that took place recently in Detroit, Michigan, the ultimate gathering for social-justice activists and lefties. The artists consider themselves activist-artists (Barraza and Cervantes made posters immediately after the Oscar Grant shooting). They aren't ashamed to call what they make artistic propaganda — "propaganda for the people." Other issues they cover are globalization, gentrification, women's rights, and youth activism. Their collective is named after Inca warrior Tupac Amaru who fought Spanish colonists; they consider themselves warrior artists who bring art to the masses, demonstrating that art can be accessible and doesn't have to cost a lot of money.
© 2017 East Bay Express