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The Press in the Service of Imperialism

A work made of lithograph in black on cream wove paper.
© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City

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  • A work made of lithograph in black on cream wove paper.




Alfredo Zalce
Mexican, 1908-2003

About this artwork

Zalce’s caricature of the right-wing press and its affiliation with reactionary power features a grotesque, overinflated balloon, which takes on a comical human form. The puffed-up figure—variously identified as General Saturnino Cedillo, who led an unsuccessful 1938 coup, or General Juan Andreu Almazán, a candidate for the 1940 presidency—clasps his cartridge belt and gun and raises his right arm in a presidential salute. Pages of newspapers plaster his body, including parodies of their titles, such as Últimas Mentiras (Latest Lies) instead of Últimas Noticias (Latest News). With the balloon in danger of bursting, capitalist and clerical forces continue to sustain him, as does a pump of aire gratis (free air) marked with the symbol of the British pound, suggesting the foreign interests behind the newspapers and support of this figure.

La caricatura de Zalce de la prensa derechista y sus afiliaciones con los poderes reaccionarios muestra aquí la forma grotesca de un globo sobreinflado que ha adquirido una cómica forma humana. El hinchado héroe —que muchos identifican con el general Saturnino Cedillo, cabecilla de un malogrado golpe de estado en 1938, o con el general Juan Andreu Almazán, quien habría de ser candidato presidencial en 1940— ciñe su canana y arma mientras levanta el brazo derecho a manera de saludo presidencial. Su cuerpo está cubierto con páginas de los periódicos del momento e incorpora una parodia de sus nombres, por ejemplo Últimas Mentiras en lugar de Últimas Noticias. Con el globo a punto de reventar, las fuerzas capitalistas y clericales continúan inflándolo, al igual que lo hace una bomba de aire que reza “aire gratis” y que está marcada con el símbolo de una libra esterlina, en alusión a los intereses extranjeros detrás de los periódicos y de su apoyo a esta figura.


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Prints and Drawings


Alfredo Zalce


The Press in the Service of Imperialism


Mexico (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Lithograph in black on cream wove paper


Image: 34.4 × 31.3 cm (13 9/16 × 12 3/8 in.); Sheet: 65 × 49.9 cm (25 5/8 × 19 11/16 in.)

Credit Line

William McCallin McKee Memorial Endowment

Reference Number



© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City

Extended information about this artwork

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