I was in high school when I was introduced to the work of Rupert Garcia, my sister gave me her copy of the CARA exhibit catalog, it was where I first learned of all the Chicana/o artist I love today. Garcia’s print “Cesen Deportacion” was a piece that really stood out to me, the bold yellow type and black barbwire on a red background, super simple but extremely powerful. This poster made me fall in love with screen printing before I knew what it was. Thumbing thru the book now I see so many prints that we the basis for my art education and Garcia’s prints still stand out to me. The portraits are extremely powerful, Frida Khalo, Ruben Salazar, Emiliano Zapata and the Virgen de Guadalupe, seeing these pieces have made such a lasting impression on me. I was super excited to find out he was one of the five artist whose work I was going to print for the Galeria de la Raza’s 40th Anniversary print portfolio.

I was really honored to have the opportunity to work with Garcia and get a glimpse of how he approaches the production of a print, the way he works with color and even hear about other projects he is working on. For the Galeria de la Raza Portfolio he selected a image of Diego Rivera which he had made a painting of in the 1980s but had never made into a screen print. I was super excited to print this piece because it completes Garcia’s set of Mexican Masters (including Frida Kahlo, Jose Clemente Orozco and David Alfonso Siquieros) which have been screen printed in the past. We worked on the print over a month’s time, during which I printed two separate trail proofs for Garcia to review color composition to make sure he was happy with the look of the final piece for edition production. It was super exciting to complete the edition and hang out with Garcia as he signed the prints and hear some great stories about the work he has done in the past.

This is the first of five prints that were created for the portfolio and am hoping to share a little, through my blog entries, about each of the prints in the future. If you would like to see the completed portfolio and if you are in the Bay Area you can check out the 40th Anniversary Exhibit at the Galeria de la Raza until the middle of January 2011.

D.R. (Diego Rivera) image ©2010 Rupert Garcia