Written by Jetson99 on .


_Emiliano Zapata






_R$    200,00

_US$ 100.00 ~


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Emiliano Zapata Salazar, born in 1879 in Morelos, Mexico, was one of the leaders of the Mexican Revolution. The movement unravelled the overthrowing of president Porfírio Diaz and is regarded as the first major revolution of the XX century.


Zapata was both a native american and Spanish descendant, and grew as a peasant for most of his life, fact that collaborated with his empathy regarding the difficulties faced in Mexico's countryside. At age 30, he was elected head of the village council in Anenecuilco, his hometown.  


For many years to come, Zapata would take a key role in the campesino's struggle in Mexico. Under Porfírio Diaz, the economic system adopted was basically a feudal system, many of the native tribes were continuously forced out of their lands, which were then occupied by the upper classes and divided in large estates used for agriculture. The native communities were eventually forced into debt slavery on the farmlands. The practice was so widely spread that Zapata saw no other way than to take severe armed action, gathering men to fight by his side, simply retaking the occupied estates by force.  


In May 1911, in command of the Ejército Libertador del Sur, Zapata supported presidency candidate Francisco I. Madero in his plan to take on Diaz. Madero made vague promises to Emiliano regarding land reform, arguably the only subject that mattered to the young leader. That was enough incentive for him to make the push towards Ciudad Juárez with his troops, alongside Pancho Villa's group from the north, La División del Norte, and other rebellious groups. The Battle of Ciudad Juárez marked once and for all the end of Porfírio's stint at the office and the beginning of Madero's run.


The new president's course of action would never meet Zapata's expectations, as the land reforms carried out did not have the magnitude he envisioned. By November 1911, their relationship had gone sour, Zapata then fled with some of his fellow soldiers to the mountains of southwest Puebla. The group wrote the most radical Mexican reform plan yet, the Plan of Ayala, in which Madero was declared a traitor and all stolen land should return to their rightful owners. Their motto: 'Reforma, Libertad, Ley y Justicia' - Reform, Freedom, Law and Justice.


Now on a quest to overthrow his former ally, Zapata takes over many territories only to be beat to his goal by General Victoriano Huerta, who demoted Madero and ordered his arrest and execution in 1913. Nonetheless, Huerta had a vast list of enemies, his presence displeased Zapata as well as Pancho Villa and Revolution new comers Venustiano Carranza and Alvaro Obregón. The 'Big Four' would force Huerta to flee a little over a year after he took control. The four men would have conflicts of their own, starting as soon as Huerta left. Carranza would be responsible for Zapata's death years down the road, in 1919, setting up an ambush that resulted in Emiliano's body riddled with bullets.


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Zapata is one of six important revolutionary figures that team-up in the first set of the '!Y Que Venga La Revolución! Collectibles Series'. His memory is preserved and remembered in a limited, numbered and signed batch of silkscreen prints.


Manually printed, the artwork shown here is limited to a fifty copies total run, carefully laid layer after layer in a total of 4 different colors. In the use of the silkscreen technique, it is possible to achieve solid and uniform colors, unmatched by any other printing process. That characteristic is clearly noticed in the pieces, and is attained after a series of steps that comprehend art preparation, photolithography engraving, silkscreen photosensitive emulsion transfer, paint preparation, layer registration and the printing itself.


In this series, the original pencil drawings where given a manual vector final artwork treatment, providing extreme control over the quality and thickness of each stroke drawn, for the best read and reproduction using silkscreening. The digital files where then engraved through photographic and chemical processes onto photolithographies, that are basically high resolution + contrast transparencies on which the designs were imprinted in pitch black. This last step allows large size high precision transfers to the silkscreens, with great control over layer registration and so on.


The silkscreens are covered with photo sensitive emulsion, a pasty substance that solidifies after being exposed to light for a period of time. The black artwork on the photolithography blocks the light generated in a vacuum sealed lightbox, that holds the artwork tight against the screen for precise transfer. After a few minutes the screen transfer is done and the silk can be hosed with water as the parts not exposed to the light are easily washed off. The whole idea is that the paint flows through the silk pores and is blocked in the emulsion covered areas, hence replicating the artwork found on the photolithography.


Now an important step in producing high quality final prints is taking care of the color/layer registration, that means matching and fitting the shapes in different colors properly in the final composition. As there is some expansion/contraction of the artwork in between transfer steps, at this point we need to print a registration reference using the main outline artwork. The fill in colors bleed 0.2mm into the strokes, that are placed on top as the last layer applied on the print, in a technique known as 'trapping'.


The paint was mixed and prepared manually as well, customized according to color studies made on the computer. With our paint mixed we finally can pull it through the silkscreen, using a squeegee, dragging it firmly and steady from top to bottom on each pass.