Tuesday, November 30, 2010
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 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
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
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
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.
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
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
Friday, November 5, 2010
This link allows you to see the video clip pointing out highlights of the Jose Guadalupe Posada and Antonio Vanegas Arroyo collaboration.