The Daily Heller: Cesc, Barcelona’s Stealth Satírico, Did Posters Too

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Cesc (1927–2006), the nom de crayon of Francesc Vila one Rufas, was 1 of the astir beloved ocular humorists successful Catalonia for implicit 30 years. He published tens of thousands of cartoons successful his homeland, London and Paris, including a regular spot successful the Diario de Barcelona. He often represented men and women connected the thoroughfare successful a lighthearted yet subversive mode that allowed him to get distant with harsher disapproval of Spain’s fascist dictator, Francisco Franco.

He besides did a bevy of advertizing and airy editorial. Cesc ne'er archived this commercialized work, and it has taken the modern Barcelona-based decorator and paper cartoonist Jordi Duró 4 years to compile the caller publication Cesc Cartellista (his archetypal publication was Cesc Without Words).

Although immoderate of Cesc’s posters specify Catalan civilization of the ’60s, helium was known mostly for cartoons, and hasn’t been considered a poster creator (until now). Cesc, says Duró, belonged to the contented of artists who would gully a cartoon successful the morning, a poster by noon and a statement successful the evening.

Currently successful Spain determination is simply a revisionist grounds astir Franco’s 1964 run 25 AÑOS DE PAZ (25 years of iron-fisted peace); Duró’s ngo with his publication is to absorption connected the lone decorator who refused to instrumentality part, Cesc. I asked Duró to present america to the creation and artist. (The images beneath absorption chiefly connected Cesc’s commercialized work.)

I cognize you bash a regular governmental cartoon. Is that what inspired your involvement to papers Cesc?
I had him motion immoderate posters for maine erstwhile I was a young graphic plan student, but it wasn’t until I started to people governmental cartoons—right erstwhile I turned 40—that I started to look astatine him for his thinking, not conscionable his endowment arsenic an illustrator. This led maine to edit a publication connected his cartoons, and the probe continued arsenic much and much graphic items turned up and I realized determination was a full assemblage of enactment that was undocumented.

Is helium the astir revered of the Spanish cartoonists?
He was precise respected successful Spain, but arsenic helium mostly published successful Catalan newspapers, helium mightiness beryllium much fashionable locally. He was up determination with El Perich oregon Chumy Chúmez. He did dozens of covers for the children’s monthly Cavall Fort, truthful helium made a large interaction connected a full procreation of aboriginal illustrators.

Was helium capable to freely enactment during Franco’s regime?
He was heavy censored. There is adjacent a publication connected his censored cartoons. But his wit was subtle capable to debar going to tribunal for it. When the Franco propaganda run “25 years of Peace” wanted to usage 1 of his posters, helium refused. He was the lone 1 to bash so, arsenic acold arsenic I know. The information that helium often got distant with criticism, and his dependable resistance, made him precise beloved to the nationalist … and astatine the end, each the committee enactment successful the publication comes from this popularity. Everyone who wanted antiauthoritarian alteration saw him arsenic the cleanable vehicle, and helium helped them all. No substance what governmental color.

I callback his enactment appearing successful French and British satiric journals. What made his humor so European?
He genuinely belonged to the post-war procreation of André François, Sempé and Tomi Ungerer (both Cesc and Tomi arsenic children drew the warfare they lived done and witnessed archetypal hand), and I deliberation they each shared a heavy humanist instrumentality connected life. They had a heavy emotion for their anonymous characters and a distaste to immoderate benignant of authoritarianism. Cesc’s begetter was a publication illustrator and a precise well-traveled man. So helium came from a cosmopolitan inheritance adjacent if they had precise small means aft the Spanish civilian war.

What did you larn doing this publication that you had not known?
The learning voyage was twofold: First I discovered that I could explicate a clip successful past done the enactment of an artist, truthful I had to bash thing much than a “picture book.” Second, it was an intimate travel to observe my ain heritage, to find retired wherever my acceptable of values came from.

Can Cesc’s benignant of work—his style, his wit—still beryllium done today?
Yes, determination is simply a batch of endowment and wit retired determination today. … There are galore highly talented artists working, but 1 happening that I consciousness cartoonists person mislaid contiguous is context. Before they had a full work wherever they could dependable an opinion; contiguous their enactment is shared and it loses each the nuances of context. Cesc sometimes did not hold with the editorial enactment of immoderate of the publications helium worked for, and this made the work each the much richer for it. The scholar could spot these subtleties. This nuance is wholly mislaid erstwhile you stock online a cartoon retired of its editorial discourse today.

What is your anticipation for the book? What bash you privation it to accomplish?
First of each I wanted Cesc to beryllium recognized arsenic a poster artist. I felt helium was overlooked arsenic such. He was seen solely arsenic a cartoonist, and labels thin to constrictive the scope of the enactment of the artist. Then, arsenic I started discovering the taste extent and relevance of the oeuvre, I saw that I needed to constitute a publication astir plan that would entreaty to the wide reader, not lone to designers. I deliberation it does some things: compile the artwork and, done it, explicate a clip and a place.

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