Documentary

Thursday, May 8, 2014

ART and Revolutions Final Cut Complete!

After nearly three years ART and Revolutions now has a Final Cut and within the next ten days (by May 18) it will be finished. Director Victor Mancilla will be overseeing just a few small edits of subtitles and credits in the studio. We will be submitting to selected film festivals and hope to show the film at various venues in the USA and Mexico (to start!). The Final Cut is 40 minutes and 28 seconds in length. Viva Posada!

Monday, December 9, 2013

"Searching for Posada" Lecture at The Mexican Museum, San Francisco, CA December 14, 2013



 

 
 
Curator Jim Nikas to shed light on the life and death of famed Mexican artist.
 
          In celebration of the life of José Guadalupe Posada, The Mexican Museum is proud to present a special lecture by guest curator Jim Nikas entitled “Dialogos Gráficos and the Search for José Guadalupe Posada” on Saturday, December 14, 2013, 1-2:30 p.m. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Posada, the renowned Mexican artist. The lecture is free and open to the public.


While most widely known as the “grandfather of Mexican printmaking,” Posada is also famous for his Day of the Dead calaveras and his imagery’s powerful influence on other noteworthy artists, such as Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and the Taller de Grafica Popular, an artist's print collective formed in Mexico in 1937 to advance revolutionary social causes. Yet, little is known about the man himself. Was Posada a revolutionary? Did he fight against the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz? Did he really create 20,000 images in his lifetime? And how could someone of such talent and influence have been buried in an unmarked mass grave?


           Guest lecturer Nikas oversees one of the largest private collections of Posada’s work in the United States and is the producer of the soon-to-be released documentary about Posada’s life, “ART and
Revolutions.” His lecture will share new discoveries about the artist’s life and times, and explore and explode many of the myths that continue to permeate Posada’s life history. Nikas will also touch on the significance of The Mexican Museum’s current exhibit of Posada works, “Dialogos Gráficos.”

The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.


 

 

 
 


 

 

 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Posada's Calaveras Visit San Jose, CA Winchester Mystery House

Posada's calaveras visited the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA for their Dia de los Muertos observance. It was the first time for the Winchester to sponsor such an event. There was an altar and a variety of original images from the New World Prints Collection. Sarah Winchester might have found them disturbing as she believed that the spirits of the dead killed by the guns her husband created might come back to find her. Thanks to Posada's calavera images perhaps they did in some ways!

Monday, October 7, 2013

El Centenario Posada Lecture at Arteamericas Fresno, CA

Lecture on Posada and an update on the documentary at ArteAmericas 1630 Van Ness, Fresno, CA. There is a current exhibition showing Posada's work and complimentary commemorative exhibition celebrating Posada's work with artwork from 32 artists from the Instituto Grafica of Chicago.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Frida Kahlo and José Guadalupe Posada


Posada's art has influenced many artists over the years. One was Frida Kahlo. The images shown here in this blog posting show striking similarities. Here is a partial quote from an interview of Frida conducted back in 1933.
"I had gone up to the Barbizon-Plaza hotel to interview Frida Kahlo, who was the wife of Diego Rivera, and a great painter herself, a sort of demonic surrealist. That was when Rivera was doing those Rockefeller Center murals. Thumb-tacked all along the walls of the hotel suite were some very odd engravings printed on the cheapest kind of newsprint. "Jose Guadalupe Posada," Kahlo said, almost reverentially. "Mexican. 1852-1913." She told me that she had put the pictures up herself so she could glance at them now and then and keep her sanity while living in New York City. Some were broadsides. "They show sensational happenings that took place in Mexico City--in streets and in markets and in churches and in bedrooms," Kahlo said, "and they were sold on the streets by peddlers for pennies." --from the book Up in the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell (1992).
Perhaps some of the images by Posada of disasters and the demonic elements present in many of the sensational broadsides made an impression on Frida. If she was not already familiar with Posada's images, being married to Diego Rivera may have helped as he had just a few years earlier in 1930 authored the Foreword about Posada in the Monografia Posada published by Francis Toor.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Posada Ilustrates Pancho Villa and Firing Squad

Posada sometimes used photographs as templates to create his illustrations. This allowed him a greater degree of control over the image. He could emphasize certain elements and also make the image more generic so it might be used over for a variety of stories that Vanegas Arroyo published. It also allowed his publisher the flexibility to see what news was current and then rehash it with its own artwork. In this example Pancho Villa is facing a firing squad. The image above left is from a halfsheet broadside published by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo. The image below is from the archives of the Hemeroteca Nacional in Mexico City, it is dated 1912, from the year before Posada's death. Note how efficiently Posada uses the space setting the image up in a way that draws the eye to Pancho Villa. In the photo there is a large amount of "useless" empty space to Villa's left.