This poster shows a revolutionary clenched fist behind two children in blue. It is asking viewers to provide donations for the support of orphaned children. Shortly after the start of the war, the Republican government and associated unions became actively involved in providing support for orphaned or refugee children. In this case, International Red Aid (Socorro Rojo Internacional or SRI) is the organization behind the relief effort.
SRI was a Spanish Soviet organization with connections to Comintern. It first emerged in Spain in October of 1934 when there were workers' revolts in the Asturias region of Spain. During the Civil War, the SRI was mostly involved in aid activities in the Republican zone such as the creation and administration of refugee camps, soup kitchens, libraries for Republican soldiers, transportation networks between hospitals and front, and the re-purposing of buildings into makeshift hospitals, blood banks, and schools. Much of the SRI's activities were focused on children. The included the founding its Escuela Nacional para Niños Anormales (National School for Mentally Disabled Children) and a Children's Park, both in Madrid.
Ricardo Yesares Blanco, who signed his work with the pseudonym "YES," is the artist of this poster. Yes was born in Madrid in 1911 to a family of Castilian farmers. Little is known about his early life and education. In 1931, his first artistic works began to appear in periodicals and magazines. Two years later, Yes participated in an exhibition of revolutionary art in Madrid sponsored by the Asociación de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios (Association of Revolutionary Writers and Artists). Other artists in the exhibition included Ramón Puyol, Josep Renau, and Monleón whose works are also represented in this exhibit. Yes was imprisoned in 1935 and presumably was freed before or around July 1936 when the civil war began.
During the war, Yes published frequently in the "workers press" and other leftist publications such as Nuestra Cinema, El Tiempo Presente, Ruto, Mundo Obrero, La Lucha, Euskadi Roja and Ayuda! As represented here, he also worked for the Socorro Rojo Internacional (International Red Aid). In 1936 in Madrid, he published a book of twenty-five engravings entitled La Guerra al Desnuda. His introduction to the book provides some insight into his motives in publishing the text and his views on war and the function of art. He writes:
The publication of my first book is not responding to the looking glass of popularity or looking for critical success that would result in economic benefits. Just the opposite. The purpose, that moves me to produce this album, is to put within the reach of the popular masses a clear and naked vision of the most horrifying catastrophe that threatens to destroy Humanity, War!
In further speculating on the meaning of the war in Spain and the immediate future of Europe, he writes:
The fire [of war] was sparked by Italy, and nobody knows where the fire will go. It is probable that the call is supported by Germany or Japan. What new fire arises in Europe or Asia?
The only biographical information available at the writing of this entry is a short biography that accompanied Yes' 1936 book. Consequently, little is known of Yes fortunes after the war.