Several of Eladio Rivadulla’s propaganda posters designed in the early 1960s for the Castro regime certainly merit a place in design history, writes Jan Middendorp.
On 1 January 1959, the day that the US-sponsored President Batista fled from Cuba, Rivadulla created the country’s very first revolutionary poster. With its strong contrasts and stylised portrait of Castro, the poster was a prototype, of sorts, of Cuba’s revolutionary graphic design. But although Rivadulla became a technical adviser to the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC) and remained active well into old age, he was somehow omitted when the international design scene began to recognise the work created by younger colleagues, inspired by Pop art, from the mid-1960s onwards. Maybe curators felt nervous because of his pre-revolutionary past, feeling he wasn’t as ‘pure’ as the others.