Xavier Viramontes’s Artwork Critique
Boycott Grapes. The United Farm Workers Union. By Xavier Viramontes. This poster represents the fight for Chicano Rights. The Aztec soldier shows a fierce, angry face while violently squeezing grapes into juices. This could represent blood or sacrifices that were made during the protest. Aztec warriors wear a headpiece that is adorned with a decorative costume, which represents their ethnic heritage.
The artist was of Mexican descent and wanted to draw attention to the Mexican American workers who worked in 1970s in substandard conditions. They also received poor wages for their labor. This piece serves to express Latin American themes including history, identity, culture, and heritage. This painted piece takes us back to history and the social movements led by oppressed groups. It was this movement that gained prominence and gave Cesar Chavez his position as an international leader of Mexican American civil right. This poster contains themes such as identity, culture and culture. It represents the Aztec/Mexican heritage and identity. The warrior’s clothing shows the culture and heritage of the farmworkers.
The United Farm Workers Union, or UFW, led the grape boycott during the 1970’s. It was a movement to create awareness of farm workers struggling for rights such as better pay and working condition. Cesar C. Chavez led the group. These workers were mostly located in the Coachella Valley of Southern California. The people involved suffered a lot. “Coachella farmers had signed labor contracts with United Farm Workers Union as early as 1970. However, cooperation between the two groups didn’t last long. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters union (ibt), which was active in the early 1970s, began negotiating sweetheart agreements with the growers just before the 1973 harvest.
Matthew, 2007, “with terms that favored growers” and “kickbacks that lined the pockets Teamsters officials”.  Teamsters physically intimidated UFW opponents to force them to submit. This violence was now normal among the locals who tried to stay peaceful. Cesar Chavez’s now-famous Hunger Strikes were used to stop his followers from retaliating and redirected union energy away form strikes and towards boycotts, and the establishment in California of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board” (Matthew 2007). 
Cesar Chavez managed to redirect his supporters’ energy towards boycotts rather than strikes. Through this nonviolent method, the Coachella Valley workers were able to gain sympathy on a national and an international level. It was the UFW’s ability to get attention by boycotting grapes that contributed to its success. The table-grape vines were chosen as the battleground despite the fact that grapes are grown all over California. This was because of the climate, labor conditions, geography and market. Coachella Valley grapes being the first and most important harvest in the winter as well as being the largest harvest, led unionists to believe that conditions and terms of labor and production would follow.
This work represents the peoples in Latin America, as it is a visual representation of their struggle for rights and what they identify with. The work shows pride of the artist in their ancestry and heritage. The poster brings awareness to the people who may not be aware of this struggle.