Magon (2006)

Jesus Barraza
13 x 17
4- Color, Handprinted, Screenprint, Matte Cover, Printed in San Leandro, 2006
In early 2001 I started working at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, i was responsible for making flyers, brochures and posters. It was the best job ever, most important it helped me discover the art of screen printing. I started designing posters for the Center’s exhibits and once I was comfortable with the medium, I started printing my first pieces. I really liked the idea of making portraits of important historical figures, people who I did not think were widely recognized and whose history was not known by many in my Generation. Making this image of Ricardo Flores Magon was a way for me to pay tribute for all that he did for the Mexican Revolution and all the writings he left behind. I had first learned of him in my Spanish class in high school, Mr. Navarrez was from the Chican@ Movement and his politics always came through in his class lessons. In a video we watched in class I learned how Ricardo and his brother Enrique published a news paper called Regeneracion and he supported the Revolution not as a soldier, but an intellectual and this is exactly why he was such a threat. I later learned that he also worked with the Wobblies.  He was captured by the US who labeled him and the people he was with as Bandits. He died under suspicious circumstances, some say he died of natural causes, other say he was murdered by the prison guards. He left a huge legacy in his writings, I was really honored to have this image used by AK Press for the cover of “Dreams of Freedom: A Ricardo Flores Reader”, the first English translations of his work. I’ve made two editions of this image, the first was so small, maybe 20 prints made. At the time I didn’t have a lot of money to buy large amounts of paper, most of the early editions I made were about 15-30 prints. I made a second printing as part of a calendar project back in 2004, I saved myself a few sets and then cut down to just keep portrait. I recently found these and wanted to put them for sale because so many people have asked me over the years if I would make the Magon image available again.