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Alberto Blanco | Graphic Artist

Alberto Blanco

June 5・1955  →  June 10・2023

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OSPAAAL

Telemundo Logo 1998.

Alberto Blanco was a classically trained illustrator, painter, typographer and experimental photographer who inevitably culminated his skills into a career as a graphic designer and artist.

 

This website is dedicated to the Cuban posters Alberto created in the early 70s-90s. 

 

He spent his early career working at OSPAAAL.

OSPAAAL was founded in Havana, Cuba in 1966 following the Tricontinental Conference, a meeting of delegates from 82 countries throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Officially a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) recognized by the United Nations, it has a board of representatives from all over the world, with the stated aim to promote ‘solidarity with the Third World people's struggles, claims and most precious desires’.

Support for the struggles of other nations is an important part of the national culture of Cuba owing to its long history of fighting against foreign political and economic domination.

OSPAAAL was the primary producer of international solidarity posters in Cuba until production stopped in the mid-1980s following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Excerpt from the BBC:

"Perhaps the most internationally recognized group is the non-government agency OSPAAAL, which publishes TRIcontinental, a magazine with worldwide distribution. Walsh describes the organization as a “revolutionary PR firm whose job is to keep the issues, art and culture of various liberation struggles alive in the eyes of the public. The agency is based in Havana, and operates with a rotating design staff that has included many of Cuba’s top designers, such as Alberto Blanco, as well as expatriates from other countries—even the United States."

In the early 1990s, Alberto moved with his wife and son to the United States where he would settle in New York and go on to work as Creative Director at Telemundo 47, now a Comcast company. He created the sets for the Daily News, Evening News and a Saturday-themed comedy and variety game show which often included member participation and unique and crazy set designs - think Double Dare style but with live music performances. They were competing with Nickelodeon visuals at the time. The set experience led to more work for a lot of NY area based set design for latin and hispanic concert acts.

 

He would often work with artists and musicians in his entertainment network to create album covers, posters, music apparel and set designs for the yearly New York City held Cuban and Puerto Rican day parades and floats.

He became friends with Celia Cruz.

He designed the 1992-1995 'Desi Entertainment Awards' branding, invitations as well as the yearly  physical award's design as well as the 1997 'Latin Music Awards'.

In the mid 2000s, Alberto and his new partner opened a graphic print house based out of Jackson Heights with a store front, web cafe and full service design and print shop servicing the local community including independent store owners, restauranteurs and retail shops alike (most often of immigrant decent), in the New York and New Jersey area.

 

Into his later years, Alberto would continue to be creative, designing, mocking up architectural and in-store activation interiors. Traveling to places he'd never been and eventually passing away too young at the age of 68 in Havana, Cuba.

Alberto battled cancer for over 25 years...

...but like a lot of people struggling, he never let it get him down. He was a fighter. He was tough as shit and the world will be a little less unique without him.

Alberto is survived by his son Maurice Gabriel Blanco Hoffman, his ex-wife Marla Hoffman, his sister Omara Blanco González, his niece Ivette Blanco and many cousins.

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Alberto at his OSPAAAL desk, Havana, Cuba, 1989

(photo by Lincoln Cushing)

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Tricontinental Magazine, published and distributed worldwide by OSPAAAL which included the distributuon of the posters.

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