menu About Posters American Events Designed to Sell Advice to Americans Patriotic Persuasion Index of Posters
crop mark crop mark
Go Back Go Forward
crop mark crop mark
33 of 33

Xavier Viramontes (born 1943)
Printed by striking farmworkers
Boycott Grapes: Support the United Farm Workers Union, 1973
offset lithograph
60 x 44.6 cm (23 5/8 x 17 5/8 in.)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, gift of Tomás Ybarra-Frausto
© Xavier Viramontes

Xavier Viramontes recounted his memories of the grape boycott and the design of this poster: "The idea behind the making of the poster was to help the farmworkers in their struggle with the grape growers and encourage people to continue the boycott. Up to that point, there were no strong images associated with the boycott, since most of the other posters used by the Farm Workers Union were mostly type. . . . I decided that a strong image was needed—a strong brown image. So, I went with the idea of using a dark-brown Aztec god-like figure with the blood of grapes dripping through his fingers. The image itself conveys the message, the lettering serves to underline the message. "

Detail 1
Detail 2




| American Events | Designed to Sell |
| Advice to Americans | Patriotic Persuasion | Image Index |



detail

Back to the top


detail

Back to the top




Biography of Xavier Viramontes

Viramontes was born in 1943 in Richmond, California, and received a B.F.A. from San Francisco Art Institute and an M.A. from San Francisco State University. He was one of several artists and community activists who helped establish the Galeria de la Raza in San Francisco in order to exhibit art by Chicano and Mexican artists. As part of the Galeria's educational outreach program he painted several temporary, billboard-sized murals with such diverse topics as encouraging the community to keep its neighborhoods clean and discouraging children from eating junk food. The poster Boycott Grapes was commissioned by the Galeria de la Raza's founding director, Rene Yañez, to help support the work of the United Farm Worker's Union. Viramontes printed about twenty-five serigraphic impressions of the image and then gave the color separations to the UFW for offset lithography. When asked about political posters as an artistic medium, Viramontes wrote: "For making political statements, one can never underestimate the powers of a poster. A strong, well-executed image with a few chosen words can make a great impact and can outlive the memories of past rallies or political marches."

The recipient of numerous printmaking awards, Viramontes has taught classes in etching, monoprint, linocut, and silkscreen techniques at City College in San Francisco since 1980. He is the chairman of the Fort Mason Campus Gallery, which showcases City College student work.

Back to the top