José Guadalupe Posada’s Art
If there is an icon of Mexican folk art this is Jose Guadalupe Posada. Posada’s art characterized by its illustrations, caricatures and engravings, where death seems to have a very special place.
In its early years Posada, worked producing drawings, copying religious images and as assistant at a pottery workshop, to later becoming an apprentice at a lithography and etching workshop, where his passion lies.
By those years some of his satirical illustrations started appearing published, where most of its themes were in opposition to the Porfirio Díaz government.
In his etchings and lithographs Posada shows a society in crisis, marked by inequality and injustice of the Porfirian (Díaz) society. Describing also the spirit of Mexican people in politics and on everyday’s life.
Thanks to his work format, the community events were known by the Mexican society segment that could not read and suffered the injustices of a country in crisis as from an oppressive government as well.
The “Catrina” or The “Garbancera” skull, Posada’s best known work, made mockery of the new Indian bourgeoisie who disowned their roots, leaning towards the European cultural tastes, became more than just the fun on the Garbanceros who ate chickpeas as the Europeans did instead of corn as the Mexican natives.
Posada addressed a variety of topics such as love, politics, death, magic, customs, religion, art, through games?, prayers, natural disasters, love booklets, songbooks and red note political cartoons at newspapers.
The art of Posada put the face of death to images of life. You may know the Mexican people by watching the skulls dancing, crying, getting drunk or kissing.
Admiring the art of Posada one can discover through its skulls the genius of one of the greatest graphics chroniclers and an artist of an extraordinary sensitivity that portrayed the poor people of Mexico as no one else did.
Its large graphic production estimated at more than 20,000 prints, made in lithography or metal. Given the large number of orders that piled up in his studio he created a new faster technique, the acid engraving, on which the etching raised.
Posada’s extensive and varied work wasn’t recognized as some of his contemporaries were at his time recognized. It was not until after his death that he began been truly recognized on its aesthetics of popular art. In particular it was thanks to the famous painter Diego Rivera, who gave a huge spread to his work.
On 16 September 1972 the José Guadalupe Posada Museum opened at the Barrio el Encino, also known as Barrio de Triana, at city of Aguascalientes. A building that dates from the XIX century. This museum has over 3,000 pieces mostly from Posada and from its contemporary colleague Manuel Manilla and other national and international figures.
José Guadalupe Posada art has transcended borders, in recent decades his work has sparked an international euphoria and thanks to new technologies his work continues.