“Bombs Not Bread” - Dia de los Muertos

My silkscreen poster “Bombs Not Bread“, was directly influenced by the works of the great Mexican satirical printmaker, José Guadalupe Posada, as well as the Chicano arts movement of the late 60s/early 70s. Created in 1983 as a Day of the Dead poster, my artwork depicts a military “calaca” - Mexican/Chicano slang for skeleton - along with text that serves as a mocking inversion of the peace movement’s slogan, “Bread Not Bombs”.

Poster by Mark Vallen, 1983.

[ Bombs Not Bread - Mark Vallen. 1983. Silkscreen street poster. 14" x 20". ]

My poster was printed on cheap paper and utilized as street art when it was first published. “Bombs Not Bread” was also included in the 1984 traveling antiwar exhibit, End of the Rainbow, organized by the Los Angeles based performance art group, Sisters of Survival (S.O.S.). The End of the Rainbow exhibit traveled from California to New York, Massachusetts, Nova Scotia, and finally to Canada. Some of the artists in the show included Leon Golub, Nancy Spero, Jerry Kearns, and Judy Baca.

To celebrate Dia de los Muertos 2008 and the 25th anniversary of issuing my artwork, I am offering a limited number of these original 1983 edition hand-signed prints for $25 apiece. Being printed on inexpensive paper they are slightly yellowed with age, but the humorous take on Generalissimo Death still rings true. You can purchase the prints here.

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