Artist of the moment…..Rafael Tufino

Rafael Tufino was a wonderful artist from Puerto Rico born in the year 1922. Amongst his people Tufino was given the name “The Painter of the People.” The artist was born in Brooklyn, New York and lived in the United States until he was 10 and he went to live with his grandmother in Puerto Rico. Began his art career at the age of twelve painting signs and working with letters as his chosen form of art. This would come in very handy years later when working on producing posters.

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Tufino was part of World War 2 serving in the army. After his service the artist took off for Mexico where attended the San Carlos Academy studying painting and printmaking.

Rafael Tufino is included in many prominent museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the National Gallery of Art of Puerto Rico.

As a fan of all art forms I think that poster art has been under appreciated until recently. At auction some artists featured here such as Toulouse- Lautrec or David Klein have broken the $10,000 barrier mark at auction. To me the art of making posters is just a cheaper version of a lithographic print. You must be a great artist to make fun and exciting posters.

A wonderful selection of works by the artist. As you can tell through some etchings Tufino was a great draftsman:

A brief interview with the artist. The artist’s voice is interpreted:

Rafael Tufino passed away in 2008 at the age of 85 years of age.

What a great style the artist had. When I compare it to other great poster artists such as David Klein, its amazing to see how they made the letterform the main part of their artwork. Long before the days of computers its important to remember it was all done by hand. If you enjoy the letterform as art be sure and check out my favorite artist in this category, Robert Cottingham. Below an example of Cottingham’s style with the letterform.

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