_US$ 100.00 ~
Salvador Allende Gossens, born in Santiago, Chile in 1908, was the first democratically elected socialist chief of state in Latin America. He governed from November 4, 1970 until September 11, 1973, day of his death. This date marked General Augusto Pinochet's, army commander-in-chief, military coup victory and takeover of Palacio de la Moneda.
Allende was co-founder of the Socialist Party in Chile, and would be engaged in politics for over 40 years, involved in many levels of the government at different points of his career. He acted as senator, deputy and cabinet Minister of Health and Social Welfare for Pedro Aguirre Cerda from 1938 to 1942. In his journey he gained important ground regarding the rights of the workers, nationalization of big industries and land reform.
The leader would struggle to reach the presidency, unsuccessfully biding for the position in 1952, 1958 and 1964 before winning a close election in 1970. The dispute was so fierce that none of the candidates reached clear majority of the votes, requiring the Congress to choose from one of the two most voted. In the popular ballots, 36% of the votes went to Allende, 35% to Jorge Alessandri and 28% to Radomiro Tomic. As tradition, the Congress picked the candidate with the most votes and Allende was finally awarded the head position in Chile.
As president, Allende carried his platform 'the Chilean Path to Socialism' and acted promptly in nationalizing large-scale industries and healthcare as well as taking charge in the fronts of agrarian reforms, education, infra-structure and cultural fostering. He would strongly fight illiteracy and improve the less privileged's life conditions through food programs and prioritizing public transportation development in the poor neighborhoods. The socialist push proved to be very efficient in the first year of his tenure, as indicators expressed significant economic growth of the country and dramatic improvement in the access to commodities, specially for the lower classes.
Because of his bold socialist policies, and his connections to Cuba, Allende sparked reactions from the capitalist front, namely the United States. Immediately after taking seat at the White House, President Nixon assigned the CIA and the US State Department to put pressure on Allende. For the US benefit, Salvador's party did not own majority in Congress, which was dominated by the Christian Democratic Party. Those two aspects were big contributors in the backlash that came in 1971-73, time of troubled waters for Allende and his administration. An 'informal embargo' was enforced and the same commodities that were abundant months before, became scarce and commercialized for top money in the black market.
With inflation soaring through the roof, Allende's popular support would take a huge hit. In a confluence of many factors, the president's chair became very vulnerable and was taken by the coup in a brutal attack to the seat of government, La Moneda Palace. Resisting bravely until the very last moment, Allende addressed the population in a moving speech on the radio in which he would refer to himself in the past tense, saying that he wouldn't resign and expressing his gratitude to all working force. Allende would then shoot himself with an AK-47 rifle given to him by Fidel Castro, while the palace was bombed by aircrafts and invaded during the attack.
Salvador Allende 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.