Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolution, Vanegas Arroyo and Jose Guadalupe Posada

This broadside was published in 1959 by Arsacio Vanegas Arroyo (1922-2001), the grandson of publishing house founder Antonio Vanegas Arroyo and son of Blas. Arsacio was a professional wrestler and also a printer. He was the third Vanegas Arroyo to continue the family legacy of printing. What few people know is that he played an instrumental role in supporting the Cuban Revolution. The roots of this support may be traced back to his grandfather, father and Posada. Sympathies for those who struggled for human rights and independence are reflected in the publications of the Vanegas Arroyo printing house. The collaboration of Posada and Vanegas Arroyo paved the way for success of the printing house and eventually as Posada's name grew in stature thanks to Jean Charlot and Diego Rivera, Arsacio was placed in a position to be helpful to the Castro brothers. For over eight months the Castros and Che Guevara lived with the Vanegas Arroyo family. Arsacio trained them in hand to hand combat and physical conditioning. He printed the 1st and 2nd Manifestos written by Fidel Castro on the family press and also war bonds which were sold even in the USA to raise money for the revolution. The image in this broadside is by Alberto Beltran an accomplished artist who worked in association with the Taller Grafica de Popular.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Santa Maria de Guadalupe

In this image attributed to Posada we are given the story of Santa Maria de Guadalupe and the four apparitions associated with her. Because the printing plates were reusable the Vanegas Arroyo printing house could seemingly issue new broadsides but with different text/type for occasions related to a particular saint or religious holiday. This was one way to keep costs down in the competitive market for their publications.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mexican Gameboards by Jose Guadalupe Posada

Posada illustrated at least a dozen gameboards for the Vanegas Arroyo printing house. This particular game called Juego de la Oca or Game of the Goose may have originated in Europe but as seen in this version is believed to have appeared in Mexico during the 1880s. There are 63 little boxes, dice were rolled and pieces advanced (and sometimes turned back) with the winning objective to be the first to land in the Garden of the Goose. The print of this gameboard was made with an acid etching and signed by Posada. It is still played in Mexico to this day.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Aztec Images and Jose Guadalupe Posada's Calaveras

In this image of a stone carving from the Museo de Antropologie in Mexico City we see some of the historical evidence from which Posada gathered inspiration for his calaveras. Hundreds if not thousands of such examples exist but the interesting thing is that calavera images really did not become "popular" until Posada's illustrations of calaveras were put out into the world through the printing press of Antonio Vanegas Arroyo. Artist Jean Chalot drew attention to Posada beginning in the 1920s-1930s and today with the popularization of calavera images Posada is growing beyond Mexican roots and into the global sphere. Fortunately, the only papers Posada's calaveras need are the papers they are printed on!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

San Francisco Mission District and Jose Guadalupe Posada

In another example of Posada's continued influence the center piece calavera couple from his lead engraving "El Gran Fandango" were turned into iron gratings at 16th and Valencia Streets in San Francisco's predominantly latino Mission District.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Grateful Dead and Jose Guadalupe Posada

The Grateful Dead used this calavera image from Posada's lead engraving most popularly known as "El Gran Fandango" for a variety of concerts. Alton Kelly and Stanley Mouse are credited with design of the calavera wearing a garland of roses called "The Woodcut". It is said to have originated from European designs. Posada's calavera imagery fit right in and was readily available and so Posada images became a part or rock and roll history.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Jose Guadalupe Posada and Francisco Madero

While working at the printing house of Antonio Vanegas Arroyo, Posada created a variety of images in calavera form that were used to make political statements. In this image unsigned but attributed to Posada from 1910, we see a calavera of Francisco Madero. Vanegas Arroyo had a long established relationship with Porfirio Diaz and although it is arguable that he was taking a clear pro-Diaz stance here, there is no similar calavera of Diaz. Huerta, Carranza and Madero yes, but nothing for Diaz.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jose Guadalupe Posada and Religious Images

Posada is known best for the calavera images that he popularized but there is much more to Posada as a creative artist. Over and over again Posada demonstrates his prolific talent and genius with technique, perspective and compostion. Here we have an example of an acid etching (a technique that Posada developed at the Vanegas Arroyo printing house) of Nuestra Senora de los Remedios (pink paper). He would use a grease pencil to create lines on a zinc plate that he wanted to preserve in raised relief, then he would place the plate in an acid bath. The acid would etch the non-greased areas away and leave the raised lines that could then be inked to produce an image.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chapbooks of Jose Guadalupe Posada

Posada produced hundreds of images for little booklets published by Vanegas Arroyo (called chapbooks). Most images were for covers and were either done as acid etchings or as lead engravings. In the case of the 110 titles of the historical series published in Spain between 1899 and 1901 for the Hermanos Maucci, known as Maucci Books, Posada worked in color. 110 unique cover images were created for the series, Posada signed only four of the covers and together all the books represent the only known works in color that Posada did during his career.

Jose Guadalupe Posada and Gay Imagery

Posada and Vanegas Arroyo used this image of men dressed as women dancing with other men to illustrate two sensational stories on raids that took place apprehending 41 and later 12 (as illustrated here) men who were participating in a dance. In the case to the 41 story which was published in 1901, the number 41 began to be used when refering to homosexual or what would be called gay activities now days. It was meant to be derogatory. A person refered to or labelled with the 41 term was meant to be looked at in a negative way just as the terms "fag" or "queer" were used in the USA. The story not only reflects the bias of the times but also reports on the inequality of the period though commentary about the socially advantaged individuals who were able to buy their way out of being arrested and punishment.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

La Calavera Catrina de Jose Guadalupe Posada

Posada created what is viewed by many as his most iconic image, La Calavera Catrina, during the last few years of his life. The New World Prints Collection contains several broadsides in which the image is used. The first use, although undated, appears to be in 1912. The name "catrina" refers to the feminine form of a catrin also known as a dandy. The calavera images of catrins or catrinas were used as reminders of our common mortality, that death is the great equalizer, no matter what. Muralist Diego Rivera later created (1947-48) a full length version of La Catrina in a fresco called A Dream of Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park, which may be seen today in Mexico City.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Stanford University: Celebrating Mexico: The Grito de Dolores and the Mexican Revolution 1810/1910/2010

Two items on loan to Stanford Univ. from the New World Prints Collection for the joint exhibition and its...
Free and open to the public!

A wonderful showcase of Mexican collections from the Green Library of Stanford University and Bancroft Library UC Berkeley, commemorates the 200th anniversary of Mexico's independence from Spain and the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution. Runs through January 16th 2011. Munger Rotunda of the Green Library, Stanford University Contact the Library for hours. Tel. 650-753-5553

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jose Guadalupe Posada Visits San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall for Dia de los Muertos

Jose Guadalupe Posada visited San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall on November 6 to help celebrate the Annual Day of the Dead Concert. Altars, mariachis, dancers and many calaveras attended the event.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Posada and Vanegas Arroyo on Youtube

This link allows you to see the video clip pointing out highlights of the Jose Guadalupe Posada and Antonio Vanegas Arroyo collaboration.

Friday, October 29, 2010

La Revolución Social de José Guadalupe Posada at the Consulado de Mexico de San Francisco

Currently on display at the Consulado de Mexico de San Francisco, CA, is a cross section of Jose Guadalupe Posada's work from the New World Prints Collection. A variety of calavera images in recognition of Dia de los Muertos are in the show. Included in this exhibition are also selected prints showing Posada's influence on comtemporary artists. The show will run until early December. Located in the gallery and main floor at the Consulate located on Folsom Street between 1st and 2nd Streets in San Francisco, CA

Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA

Beginning on October 25 and running until November 7, the Museum of Latin America Art in Long Beach, CA is holding its annual Dia de Los Muertos celebration. This year New World Prints has been invited to exhibit a small selection of works by Jose Guadalupe Posada. The celebration is always fabulous and this year will have some original broadsides of Jose Guadalupe's printed works including an original acid etching printing plate.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Posada's Bicycles

Posada created thousands of images during his career. This one of the bicycle riders was originally used by his publisher Antonio Vanegas Arroyo as a commentary on the popularity of bicycle riding by the wealthier classes who were forming bike clubs modeling themselves in European fashion.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Posada Exhibition Bellas Artes San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

The Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramirez "El Nigromante" Bellas Artes in San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico hosted an exhibition of collective works by Jose Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913) in celebration of the Bicentennial of Mexico's Independence and Centennial of the Mexican Revolution. The Exhibition was assembled from material contained in the collection of New World Prints and was curated by Jim Nikas. It opened on August 6 with a reception and lecture by Dr. Patrick Frank author of Posada's Broadsides. The Exhibition ran until October 10. Over 5,000 people from 9 countries and 15 Mexican states attended.