Monday, September 29, 2008
For Latino Heritage month I wanted to create a poster celebrating Barack Obama that I hope will speak to fellow Latinos about a man I believe has vision and leadership. The piece is painted on a piece of wood that has been sanded as I wanted it to be textural with authentic cultural iconography. Hearing him speak I keep thinking to myself here is someone I can relate to, someone who can be a genuine voice for the issues we face in America and around the world.
I paint it for my young son Santiago as Obama represents the hope I have for his future. For my wife who teaches at San Diego City College, an urban community college and for her students because Obama knows that education is the open door that changes lives and he will make it a priority. Both my parents were born in Mexico and were architects and teachers who taught me to be a world citizen. I believe this nation is part of a global community and Obama can change the negative perceptions that cloud the future as he is a man of ideas who values and understands the social, economic and cultural issues of our time.
It is my hope that people will use the image to reach out to Latinos and others. We need to get everyone registered to vote so their voice can be heard as there is a bilingual voter registration site at www.voteforchange.com that is easy to use. Barack Obama is the son of immigrants and shares the values of our Latino community. I'm counting on others to use the image to spread the word that Obama speaks for us. PLEASE USE THE NUESTRA VOZ IMAGE IN ANY WAY YOU CAN TO SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN.
UPDATE: You can view the official poster I created VOZ UNIDA for ARTISTS FOR OBAMA at the Obama/Biden website at
I'm happy to report that it quickly sold out and raised $60,000 for the final push to election day.
These last days before the election are critical so please step up and do your part by telling anyone you know to order a poster. We are still actively sending posters to campaign workers in swing states. Posters have already gone out to Colorado, Florida, Ohio, New Mexico and Nevada. If you are a campaign worker or supporter who can help us get out the Latino vote who needs posters please email me via my website at www.rafaellopez.com
If you have a moment check out this great video for inspiration and spread the word...
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I illustrated these postal stamps for the USPS in 2007 and 2005 working with talented designer Ethel Kessler. What an honor it was to work on an image for such an important legal issue as equality in education. Mendez et al. v. Westmnster was a World War II-era legal case in which a group of civic-minded parents in California successfully sued to end segregation based on national origin in their schools and set a precedent for Brown vs. Board of Education. The stamp commemorated the 60th anniversary of the event and I was able to visit the public school named in honor of this brave family.
I'm passionate about Latin jazz and what a thrill it was to create the merengue stamp as I had been dancing it for many years. I tried to evoke the nuances of the couple's sideways hip movement as they hold each other tightly and glide together. The tropical foilage and flower in the woman's hair are a tribute to a time when plantation workers who couldn't hold evening parties took dance breaks out in the fields. The tambora drum reminded me of the African beat of the dance.
Thanks to the USPS for the photos of the release celebrations in Miami and Orange County, California.